Situational approach – Philosopher related to that is John Stewart Mill
Mills theory of Utaitarianism – it looks at the situations greatest good/ consequences produces greatest goods and happiness
Look at the situation from the eyes of the leader. All possible results of the leader given desicions at that particular time. Results of his actions.
Specific consequences gives rise to specific situation
Second philosopher – Aristotle – search for happiness through the golden mean(moderator)
MAIN – critical approach of the philosophy – how you apply it to the situation
Thesis statement at the beginning, what you learn from the fundamental principle and how you would apply that in the paper.
This article, “the situational ethics of statecraft,” portrays the writiers, Roberrt H jackson’s rational approach towards the subject of ethics and international relationships between countries. The title itself portrays a bit about the article, which is about the various challenges the leaders of countries have to face while making a decision during a particular situation. Jackson is sure to note that, “circumstances are not fixed, but shift and change so that at one time or place an opportunity for action might arise which might not exist at another.”[i]
Moreover, Jackson does believe that the statesmen are ethical strong individuals but the circumstances that they are in tests their ethics. This article also brings out the weaknesses in the judgements of people and national leaders. Jackson states, “looking down upon national leaders from some Olympian height of abstract moral philosophy because overlooking specific circumstances that affect a leader’s decisions will end up misconstruing and deriding them”.
President Eisenhower’s reliance on nuclear weapons and brinkmanship to contain the Soviet Union is an excellent example of his character been tested for ethics. It was a massive retaliation.
It touched upon issues like:
Ethical vs practical
Ethically – national sovereignty and spy jets – It was the 1960 U2 incident. Eisenhower sent these planes to spy on the soviet union , the leader at that time in SU was Nikita Khrushchev.
This happened during the cold war – The cold war brought about multiple approaches in terms of forigen affairs, especially from the American side. This made it difficult to choose what was ethical and what wasn’t.
- Eisenhower’s secretary of state John Dulles came up with the New Look policy. This containted the “Massive retaliation” for the safety of American citizens Dulles states on his document “It is not sound economics, or good foreign policy, to support permanently other countries; for in the long run, that creates as much ill will as good will.”1 Here he suggests that the Us military must decrease in size and there must be a use of alternate form of defense for the country internationally, which is nuclear weaponry. This was the massive retaliation. Dulles states “local defenses must be reinforced by the further deterrent of massive retaliatory power.”2 This “massive retaliatory power” was actually nuclear power. It was made clear by both Eisenhower and Dulles that nuclear weapons were “inappropriate for minor, low-level conflicts,” there would always be a looming threat of nuclear arms were conflicts to escalate.3
The policy of “brinkmanship” refers to the act of gambling with the possibility of war in order to attain peace. Clearly stated by Dulles, “The ability to get to the verge without getting into war is the necessary art. If you cannot master it, you inevitably get into a war.”4 Inhibitions must be released in order to travel to the brink of war for the opportunity to bring peace among conflicting nations. Eisenhower created a new evaluation of ethics in accordance to foreign policy and nuclear weapons +brinkmanship.
Jackson quotes Max Weber in the definition of “ethic of