•  149
    Relative to the abundance of literature devoted to the legal significance of UN authorisation, little has been written about whether the UN’s failure to sanction an intervention can ever make it immoral. This is the question that I take up here. I argue that UN authorisation (or lack thereof) can have some indirect bearing on the moral status of a humanitarian intervention. That is, it can affect whether an intervention satisfies other widely accepted justifying conditions, such as proportionali…Read more
  •  131
    The principle of absolute sovereignty may have been consigned to history, but a strong presumption against foreign intervention seems to have been left in its stead. On the dominant view, only massacre and ethnic cleansing justify armed intervention, these harms must be already occurring or imminent, and the prudential constraints on war must be satisfied. Each of these conditions has recently come under pressure. Those looking to defend the dominant view have typically done so by invoking inter…Read more
  •  60
    Targeted killing has become a staple tactic in the “war in terror”. Since the beginning of the second Intifada, Israel is estimated to have killed over four hundred Palestinians in targeted strikes, while the US has killed over two thousand in Pakistan alone since 2004. These statistics include the deaths of innocent bystanders caught in the wrong place at the wrong time—“collateral damage”—as well as the deaths of the terrorists themselves. Be that as it may, the American and Israeli publics ha…Read more
  •  54
    abstractMany reasons have been given as to why humanitarian intervention might not be justified even where rebellion with similar aims would be a morally legitimate option. One of them is that intervention involves the imposition of alien values on the target society. Michael Walzer formulates this objection in terms of a people's right to a state that ‘expresses their inherited culture’ and that they can truly ‘call their own’. I argue that this right can plausibly be said to extend sovereignty…Read more
  •  44
    An armed humanitarian intervention must have a reasonable prospect of success to be justified. It must also be a proportional last resort. These are necessary conditions for legitimate AHI. It has been suggested that, in addition to these necessary conditions, there are also ideal conditions of AHI, namely disinterest and multilateralism. These conditions are said to enhance the moral credentials of an armed intervention without being strictly required. The paper concerns itself with the relatio…Read more
  •  44
    Rebellion, Humanitarian Intervention, and the Prudential Constraints on War
    Journal of Military Ethics 7 (2): 102-115. 2008.
    Both radical rebellion and humanitarian intervention aim to defend citizens against tyranny and human rights abuses at the hands of their government. The only difference is that rebellion is waged by the oppressed subjects themselves, while humanitarian intervention is carried out by foreigners on their behalf. In this paper, it is argued that the prudential constraints on war (last resort, probability of success, and proportionality) impose tighter restrictions on, or demand more of, humanitari…Read more
  •  41
    Consistency in the Armed Enforcement of Human Rights: A Moral Necessity?
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 8 (1): 92-109. 2011.
    There is no denying that international human rights norms are enforced selectively. Some oppressive governments become the targets of military intervention, while the political sovereignty of other, equally oppressive regimes is left intact. My aim in this paper is to determine whether a military operation to defend human rights can possibly be made morally illegitimate by the fact that the state prosecuting it has failed, is failing or will fail to defend human rights under relevantly similar c…Read more
  •  41
    Non-Libertarianism and Shareholder Theory: A Reply to Schaefer (review)
    Journal of Business Ethics 98 (2). 2011.
    Libertarianism and the shareholder model of corporate responsibility have long been thought of as natural bedfellows. In a recent contribution to the Journal of Business Ethics, Brian Schaefer goes so far as to suggest that a proponent of shareholder theory cannot coherendy and consistently embrace any moral position other than philosophical libertarianism. The view that managers have a fiduciary obligation to advance the interests of shareholders exclusively is depicted as fundamentally incompa…Read more
  •  36
    The Democratization of Credit
    Journal of Social Philosophy 43 (1): 50-63. 2012.
    Elizabeth Anderson exalts the transition from the aristocratic to the modern ethic of debt as one of the most significant cultural achievements of capitalism. Whereas the debitor was once forced to compromise his liberty, dignity, and equality, today the rights and freedoms of insolvents are legally protected, and disadvantaged members of the community can readily obtain credit without personal supplication. Anderson’s intuition was, until recently, widely shared. Then came the financial crisis …Read more
  •  33
    Exploitation, Working Poverty, and the Expressive Power of Wages
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 36 (2): 333-347. 2019.
    The ‘working poor’ are paid below‐subsistence wages for full‐time employment. What, if anything, is wrong with this? The extant philosophical literature offers two kinds of answers. The first says that failing to pay workers enough to live on takes unfair advantage of them; the workers are exploited. The second says that employers who fail to pay living wages default on a duty of care grounded in a special relationship; the workers are neglected. These arguments, though generally sound, provide …Read more
  •  29
    Democratic authorization and civilian immunity
    Philosophical Forum 38 (1). 2007.
    In a recent analysis of the principle of civilian immunity, Igor Primoratz asks whether the circle of legitimate targets in war might be expanded so as to include at least some civilian bystanders. However Primoratz’ formulation of the ‘responsible bystander’ argument depends for its cogency on there being natural or non-acquired positive duties, and this is controversial. Furthermore, we feel that the citizens of a government unjustly at war are primarily and specially obliged to undermine that…Read more
  •  25
    Global Financial Crisis: The Ethical Issues (edited book)
    with Christian Barry and Thomas Winfried Menko Pogge
    Palgrave-Macmillan. 2011.
    The Global Financial Crisis is acknowledged to be the most severe economic downturn since the 1930s, and one that is unique in its underlying causes, its scope, and its wider social, political and economic implications. This volume explores some of the ethical issues that it has raised.
  •  24
    Networking, Corruption, and Subversion
    Journal of Business Ethics 144 (3): 467-478. 2017.
    This paper explores the ethics of networking as a means of competition, specifically networking to improve one’s prospects of prevailing in formal competitive processes for jobs or university placements. There are broadly two ways that networking might be used to influence the outcome of some such process: through the “exchange of affect” between networker and selector, and through the demonstration of merit by networker to selector. Both raise ethical problems that have been overlooked but need…Read more
  •  19
    The Duty to Hire on Merit: Mapping the Terrain
    Journal of Value Inquiry 50 (2): 353-368. 2016.
    The idea that jobs should be awarded purely on merit has become something of an axiom, but the moral basis of it remains elusive. If employers are under a duty to appoint the most qualified candidate, to whom exactly is this duty owed, and on what grounds? I distinguish two kinds of answers to this question. Candidate-centred arguments are those according to which qualifications generate entitlements for their bearer, such that the most qualified applicant for a job has some moral claim or right…Read more
  •  19
    From Revolution to Regime Change: Consequentialist Barriers to the Transfer of Rights
    International Journal of Applied Philosophy 23 (2): 199-211. 2009.
    The fact that armed revolution would be justified under certain circumstances does not guarantee the legitimacy of foreign intervention in aid of, or in place that revolution, even where the means employed and the ends sought are similar. One commonly given reason for this is that foreign intervention might fall short of the prudential constraints on war—proportionality, last resort, likelihood of success—where rebellion would live up to them. But those who make this argument often seem to assum…Read more
  •  17
    Domestic sovereignty and international sovereignty have both been eroded in recent years, but the former to a much greater extent than the latter. An oppressed people's right to fight for liberal democratic reforms in their own country is treated as axiomatic, as the international responses to the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya illustrate. But there is a reluctance to accept that foreign intervention is always justified in the same circumstances. Ned Dobos assesses the moral cogency of …Read more
  •  16
    Advert-Evaluation and Product-Appraisal: A Two Way Street?
    Business and Professional Ethics Journal 33 (1): 17-30. 2014.
    To what extent does the ethicality of an advertisement depend on the good or service being advertised? This question has engaged business ethicists for decades. Some say that an ad for something good is always good, while an ad for something bad is always bad. Others insist that advert-evaluation and product-appraisal are entirely independent of one another—the ethics of selling has nothing to do with what is being sold. In this paper I add another dimension to the debate. I do this not by offer…Read more
  •  12
    What’s So Deviant about Production Deviance?
    Social Theory and Practice 43 (3): 519-540. 2017.
    In the world of human resource management employees who deliberately “withhold effort” on the job are called “production deviants.” The implication is that workers are under a duty to perform as best they can, but why should we accept this? Three answers are presented and interrogated. The first says that employees who withhold effort are guilty of “time-banditry” or theft from their employers. The second says that withholding effort harms one’s colleagues or co-workers. The third suggests that …Read more
  •  11
    International Rescue and Mediated Consequences
    Ethics and International Affairs 26 (3): 335-353. 2012.
    One of the most commonplace worries about humanitarian intervention relates to the perverse incentives that it might create, or the adverse reactions that it might provoke. For instance, it is sometimes said that by weakening the norm of sovereignty humanitarian intervention can encourage unscrupulous states to wage aggressive wars of self-interest using human rights as a pretense. It is feared, in other words, that humanitarian intervention—even when it has the purest motives—might ultimately d…Read more
  •  9
    In many countries the military still threatens to punish personnel that disobey orders for the sake of self‐preservation. The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) in the U.S., for instance, makes it a crime for a soldier to refuse a directive from a superior unless what that order requires is “patently unlawful”. This qualification is usually interpreted narrowly to cover orders to commit war crimes or to victimize civilians, not orders that would require sacrifice of life or limb. In other w…Read more
  •  7
    Are strikes extortionate?
    Philosophical Studies 1-20. forthcoming.
    Workers who go on strike are sometimes accused of holding their employer “to ransom”, the implication being that strike action is a kind of extortion. The paper provides an analytical reconstruction of this objection, before presenting and interrogating different strategies for countering it. The first says that work-stoppages can only be extortionate if they infringe an employer’s rightful claim to productive labour, but that no employer has any such claim under capitalism. The second says that…Read more
  •  5
    The problem of private military contractors
    In Fritz Allhoff, Nicholas Evans & Adam Henschke (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Ethics and War: Just War Theory in the 21st Century, Routledge. pp. 265. 2013.
  •  4
    War as a Workplace: Ethical Implications of the Occupational Shift
    Journal of Military Ethics 18 (3): 248-260. 2019.
    ABSTRACTSoldiering has traditionally been thought of as something radically different from a job or career, but things are changing. Sociologists have observed an “occupational shift” in military s...
  •  3
    The practice of humanitarian intervention, which involves one state intervening militarily into another state in order to prevent abuses of human rights, raises a plethora of ethical and political issues. How is foreign intervention to be reconciled with state sovereignty? Is intervention a threat to international peace and stability? Are alien values being imposed on the target society? Each of these questions has been thoroughly explored by both philosophers and jurists. But the notion that a …Read more
  • This book addresses the question of when and why it is justifiable for a polity to prepare for war by militarizing. In doing so it highlights the ways in which a civilian population compromises its own security in maintaining a permanent military establishment, and explores the moral and social costs of militarization.
  • Ten new essays critique the practice of armed humanitarian intervention, whereby one state sends its armed forces into another to protect citizens against major human rights abuses. The contributors examine a range of concerns, for instance about potential adverse effects and about ulterior motives.