Globalizing Care: Ethics, Feminist Theory, and International Relations

Globalizing Care: Ethics, Feminist Theory, and International Relations

Globalizing Care: Ethics, Feminist Theory, and International Relations

Globalizing Care: Ethics, Feminist Theory, and International Relations

Synopsis

In Globalising Care, Fiona Robinson integrates feminist theory & ethics with international relations. By bringing in the important contributions of feminist moral & political theorists, contributions that are notably absent from most of the important work in this field, Robinson broadens the debate on normative theory in international relations. Also explored are the possibilities for translating "feminist ethics," including the theory of care, into the global context.

Excerpt

It is possible to encapsulate all the several normative questions in the one central question: 'What in general is a good reason for action by or with regard to states?'

Mervyn Frost, Ethics and International Relations, 1996 (p. 79)

We act rightly 'when the time comes' not out of strength of will but out of the quality of our usual attachments and the kind of energy and discernment which we have available. And to this the whole activity of our consciousness is relevant.

Iris Murdoch, Existentialists and Mystics, 1997 (p. 357)

This book presents a critical analysis of both commonplace assumptions and dominant modes of reasoning about ethics in international relations and attempts to work towards a new understanding of the nature and purposes of moral enquiry in the context of global social relations. I start from the general assumption that ethics is not distinct from, but embedded in, both the practices and the theories of international relations. Moreover, I assume that those practices and theories are themselves mutually constituting. 'Ethics' and 'international relations' cannot be regarded as the opposition of 'ought' and 'is'; the way that we live and organize ourselves can be understood only through reference to the historically developed and evolving ideas and beliefs that we hold-- ideas and beliefs which have value and thus reflect our ideas about morality.

These starting points might be regarded by many as counterintuitive. Commonsense reasoning seems to tell us that ethics plays no part in the ruthless business of international politics. Moreover, until recently, most theorists of international relations have sought, not without some considerable degree of success, to distance the discipline from moral considerations and ethical reasoning through the development of increasingly scientific theories and methodologies. In spite of this, however, the development of orthodox international relations theory has relied heavily on . . .

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