Ethics and Statecraft
The Moral Dimension of International Affairs, 3rd Edition
by Cathal J. Nolan, Editor
October 2015, 304pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3340-3
$65, £50, 57€, A90
Paperback: 978-1-4408-3354-0
$45, £35, 40€, A62
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3341-0
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Modern laws of war are changing as human rights law is reconsidered.

This collection of essays cuts to the quick of the most pressing moral issues facing decision-makers today, from the actions of ordinary soldiers in a combat zone to presidents deciding when and where to use force.

Ethics lie at the heart of human and therefore also international affairs, compelling nations to get involved “over there” and dedicate resources to intervention or to justify detachment. The politics and rhetoric of ethics constrain decision-makers, greatly complicating international situations. This third edition of Ethics and Statecraft addresses the moral reasoning behind the art of peacemaking as well as the ethics and statecraft of conducting war. The coverage ranges from historical transformations of whole eras of diplomatic and international history to issues of ethics of bombing and the laws of war. Specific attention is paid to emerging issues such as armed humanitarian intervention and sanctions, drone wars, war crimes, and economic justice.

The work is ideally suited for undergraduate and graduate students of international relations, history, political science, and ethics. It will also be useful for NGO officials and military officers struggling with these issues in the field. General readers will find illumination of highly relevant historical issues—including Allied bombing of civilians during World War II—that set precedents for both expansion and limitations on the laws of war. They will also encounter pressing modern-day quandaries, such as the conditions that permit or even require military or humanitarian intervention, and the impact of new technologies on old moral problems.


  • Provides clear, non-partisan, and non-ideological scholarly coverage of historical as well as contemporary moral issues in international affairs
  • Ranges subject matter from diplomacy, military decision-making, and international law to humanitarian intervention and the definition and protection of the basic human rights
  • Presents the collective expertise and multinational perspectives of an international group of scholars
  • Expands on work already well received by scholars, educators, and international practitioners in two earlier editions
Cathal J. Nolan, PhD, is associate professor of history and executive director of the International History Institute at Boston University. In addition to six edited books on international history, Nolan is the author of Praeger's Principled Diplomacy: Security and Rights in U.S. Foreign Policy as well as the Greenwood titles Wars of the Age of Louis XIV, 1650–1715: An Encyclopedia of Global Warfare and Civilization; Encyclopedia of International Relations; Age of the Wars of Religion, 1000–1650: An Encyclopedia of Global Warfare and Civilization; and The Concise Encyclopedia of World War II. His forthcoming work includes The Allure of Battle: Delusions of Decisive Victory, 1700–1945. Nolan holds a doctorate in international history and international relations from the University of Toronto and has received several research and teaching awards.
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