The International Community as Moral Agent

Journal of Military Ethics 2 (2):99-106 (2003)
Abstract
In this paper, I propose a deliberative model of the concept of the international community. The international community is a community of the world's people, peoples, and states insofar as they take themselves to be part of a potentially universal agency. I suggest that we distinguish the possibility that a more 'concrete' agent represents the international community from the practice that states, organizations, and individuals engage in of offering claims about the beliefs and attitudes of the international community in support of their own actions. I argue that while any agent can act out of an appreciation of the importance of the perspective of the international community, only an organization the primary purpose of which is to represent the international community can represent it. I close with some remarks on how the United States might act responsibly not on behalf of the international community but as a member of it
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