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Moral Spaces

Rethinking Ethics and World Politics

1999

David Campbell and Michael J. Shapiro, editors

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Considers the relationship between international politics and ethics.

A resounding challenge to the entrenched thinking and political inertia of international relations, this collection of essays overturns some basic assumptions about the relationship between ethics and international affairs-and about the very nature of these terms. Rather than pursue the traditional search for overarching, supranational principles, the contributors focus on specific, historically situated encounters, considering of the relationship between space, subjectivity, and ethics.

Contributors: William E. Connolly, Michael Dillon, Bonnie Honig, Kate Manzo, Richard Maxwell, Patricia Molloy, and Daniel Warner.

The claim of Moral Spaces, that we have to rethink ‘ethics’ in relation to ‘world politics,’ is both compelling and demanding. This highly accessible collection fills a large hole in the literature and will clearly become a major intervention into a broad range of contemporary debates.

R.B.J. Walker, University of Victoria, British Columbia

A resounding challenge to the entrenched thinking and political inertia of international relations, this collection of essays overturns some basic assumptions about the relationship between ethics and international affairs-and about the very nature of these terms. Rather than pursue the traditional search for overarching, supranational principles, the contributors focus on specific, historically situated encounters. The result is a sustained consideration of the relationship between space, subjectivity, and ethics.

Moral Spaces takes a position “against” theory, ethics, and justice-a position opposing the orthodox renderings of these domains, with their ethical-political effects. The book proceeds from the suspicion that theorizing ethics tends to obscure the contingencies and complexities of the ethical and that striving for the rules and principles of justice generally produces injustice. Instead, the contributors seek to foster the ethical relation in world politics. They investigate the radical entanglement of moral discourses and “spatial imaginaries”-the moral spaces or bounded locations whose inhabitants benefit from ethical inclusion-and question the approach that leads to this entanglement.

These essays stimulate new ways of thinking about what is “international,” about states and their interests, about sovereignty and transborder humanisms, about refugees and immigration, about rescue missions and the death penalty, and about the limited but very solid metaphysical underpinnings of the “international” discourse.

Contributors: William E. Connolly, Johns Hopkins U; Michael Dillon, U of Lancaster; Bonnie Honig, Northwestern U; Kate Manzo, U of Newcastle; Richard Maxwell, CUNY; Patricia Molloy, U of Toronto; Daniel Warner, Graduate Institute of International Studies, Switzerland.

ISBN 0-8166-3275-8 Cloth £00.00 $49.95xx
ISBN 0-8166-3276-6 Paper £00.00 $19.95x
256 Pages 5 7/8 x 9 August
Translation inquiries: University of Minnesota Press

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David Campbell is professor of international politics at the University of Newcastle, England. His books include National Deconstruction (1998) and Writing Security (1998). Michael J. Shapiro is professor of political science at the University of Hawaii. He is the author of Reading the Postmodern Polity (1998) and Violent Cartographies (1997). All of these books are available from the University of Minnesota Press.

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The claim of Moral Spaces, that we have to rethink ‘ethics’ in relation to ‘world politics,’ is both compelling and demanding. This highly accessible collection fills a large hole in the literature and will clearly become a major intervention into a broad range of contemporary debates.

R.B.J. Walker, University of Victoria, British Columbia

Moral Spaces is an excellent collection of essays focusing on the relationship between ethics and politics. These essays offer important insights into the all-too-often underanalysed ethical dilemmas at the heart of contemporary international politics. They disturb the easy and comfortable assumptions of mainstream normative international theory by refusing the totalizing discourses of existing political and philosophical ethical theories, insisting instead on more contingent and historically situated relations between ethics, subjectivity and space. This is an important set of essays that represents cutting edge thinking on the nature of international ethics.

Steve Smith, University of Wales

Provocative collection. Those who read Moral Spaces will be rewarded with a sophisticated and spirited reconceptualization of the problems and possibilities of ‘international ethics.’

Ethics and International Affairs

The book and its editors deserve praise for bringing together essays which radically and boldly question the accepted meanings of terms such as ‘international affairs,’ ‘international ethics,’ ‘sovereignty,’ and ‘refugee.’

Journal of Peace Research

David Campbell and Michael Shapiro have put together a pleasingly troublesome collection of essays. They have thrown down the gauntlet to those who claim to represent the moral domain in International Relations.

International Affairs

This collection is an important correction of the simplifications that typify the liberal-communitarian debate.

Canadian Literature