Americans pride themselves on being an ethical people. They go to church, quote the Bible, erect statues, and discuss morality with abandon. They also trust their government to do the right thing when it comes to delivering legal justice and conducting foreign policy. Trouble is, American foreign policy has yielded some pretty spectacular ethical lapses, and (as 9/11 starkly demonstrated) the world is beginning to notice. Here, Mark Gibney lays out some of the most egregious insults the U.S. has visited upon international law, economic justice, and human rights in recent times. He covers everything from multinational corporations, the first Persian Gulf war, and Guantanamo Bay, to American refugee policy, foreign aid, and global environmental degradation. Through all these examples, he exposes the discrepancy between the guise of ethical policy motivation and the reality of situational international ethics - or worse. He shows us how we practice easy ethics in an uneasy world, and how it is beginning to catch up with us. Visit our website for sample chapters!
This book marks a bold and unpretentious contribution to the discourse on ethics, not only within the context of American law and foreign policy, but also in relation to the wider discourse on contemporary international affairs. Readers will find it refreshing, enlightening, and engaging. -- Bonny Ibhawoh, Brock University, Canada Mark Gibney has written a passionate plea for the United States' society to take ethically responsible positions outside its borders. Skillfully combining common sense with concrete examples and written in a most readable style, Gibney shows that U.S. policies abroad too often contradict the domestic agenda and how Americans perceive themselves. He optimistically sees the beginning of a transformation in the classical distinction between 'us' and 'them' and this book should make an important contribution toward a more consistent ethical standard of behavior by the American people throughout the world. -- Daniel Warner, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva Since 9/11, both international law and American values have been undermined by the reactions of the Bush administration and others to that tragic event. Defining and combating 'terrorism' seems increasingly to depend on one's own political persuasion, and unilateral coercion rather than multilateral consensus has become the order of the day. Mark Gibney offers a welcome critique of ethics in American foreign policy that should spark more meaningful debate on the extent to which the views and values of the rest of the world should matter to future American policymakers. -- Hurst Hannum, Tufts University In current international relations there is a perceived choice of 'good vs. evil.' The 'good' acts ethically, the 'evil' unethically. Mark Gibney challenges this notion, questions why the world 'hates America,' and argues convincingly that the U.S. administration and the American people behave far less ethically in their international conduct than what is commonly appreciated. He insightfully questions whether there is one acceptable conduct at home-another abroad. A timely, thought-provoking, and honest contribution to current debate. -- Sigrun I. Skogly, Lancaster University Law School A clear well-written book that deserves the attention of serious scholars. Political Studies Review Gibney offers an intriguing book sure to raise eyebrows. Recommended. CHOICE