Ariel Colonomos

Ethics in International Relations Publication date : January 20, 2004

International politics has long been regarded as an amoral power game based exclusively on strength. This vision profoundly marked the Cold War - an era when you were better off being wrong in Kissinger's camp than being morally right in Mother Teresa's. All this changed after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, when a new form of international idealism made its appearance. But can ethics triumph on the international stage in the long term? Are its expressions no more than illusions paved with good intentions?
This book questions the true nature of the normative changes introduced at the end of the twentieth century and provides the elements to reply to a question dictated by fear: Did the turning point of September 11 2001 make us forget the longing for a better world, which had appeared in the 1990's? Does the resurgence of violence signify the triumph of amorality and of selfish interests?
In the light of history and of philosophy, the author examines the rise of ethical and juridical values on the international stage. He shows the way out of the dilemma between "the end of history" and "the clash of civilisations" and provides the theoretical foundations for a new form of political thinking, which lies between idealism and cynicism.

Ariel Colonomos, an expert in the field of ethics in international relations, is a CNRS research fellow at the Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales (CERI), a lecturer at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques, in Paris, and a visiting lecturer at Columbia University, in New York. He holds a doctorate in political science.