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I return to tragedy as a necessary but insufficeint lens for policymaking and contrast the mindset that gave rise to tragedy with that of the Enlightenment and its reliance on reason. I suggest ways of combining the benefits of both prspectives.
Using two data sets I constructed, I show how initiators won only about half the wars they started since 1648, and fewer than 20 percent since 1945. Using case studies, I attempt to show that their lack of success post-1945 has much to do with the emergence of the norm against territorial conquest.
The political science, psychological, and organizational literature is replete with technical fixes for policymaking and assume s that better policymaking will result in better policy. I argue that that these fixes will not work or cannot be successfully applied and will not improve policy. I argue instead for ethical improvements in policymaking and identify what they are and where they should be applied.
To document my claim that ethical policies are more successful, I offer case studies of the Marshall Plan, China’s border settlements with most of its neighbors, and Germany’s rapprochement with its neighbors. I analyze the general principles behind these successes and their broader implications for foreign policy.
Lebow demonstrates that foreign policies consistent with generally accepted ethical norms are more likely to succeed, and those at odds with them to fail. Constructing original data sets and analyzing multiple case studies, Lebow makes an empirical case for ethics in international relations. His approach looks to create a productive dialogue between those who ask primarily 'ought' questions and those who pose 'is' questions. The former want to establish appropriate criteria for the behaviour of state and non-state actors and the discourses that lead to their policy decisions, whereas scholars who pose 'is' questions are concerned with how political actors behave and the principles and assumptions that might explain their behaviour. Lebow bridges the gap between 'is' and 'ought' questions by making an instrumental argument in favour of ethical foreign policy. He examines policymaking as well as policy, offering ethical guidelines for policymaking that are likely to result in more successful policies.
A typology of reframings of the concepts of reason and cause in response to changes in society that make cause more important for people but also less accessible. A critique of social science based on this analysis.