Social Philosophy and Policy 23 (1):218-230 (2006)
|Abstract||This essay attempts to identify the ethical principles appropriate to a second-order political agent—an agent, that is, whose primary responsibility lies not in the implementation of state power, but in the response to and evaluation of that state power. The specific agent I examine is the human rights non-governmental organization, and the specific context is that of humanitarian military intervention. I argue that the specific role of the human rights NGO gives rise to ethical permissions not available to government agents. In particular, such NGOs may have permissions to ignore the motivation of government agents, and support even substantially unjust interventions, where such interventions would have substantial benefit for the defense and preservation of basic human rights. a Footnotesa Previous versions of this paper were presented at Brown University, the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, and the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University. I am grateful to all participants for their questions and comments. Thanks in particular go to the editors of this volume, whose help with this paper has been especially valuable. Responsibility for errors, of course, remains my own.|
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