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Cover Global Politics

4. Ethics  

This chapter discusses the correlation between ethics and global politics. It starts with a myth suggesting that power politics can be conducted without considering morality, especially following the rise of the modern state system. Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince (1532) has served as the ultimate guidebook for leaders and students of politics as it insinuates that European polities’ moral foundations might not be a proper basis for establishing well-run kingdoms and principalities. The chapter then looks at three key traditions of European Enlightenment thought which form the basis of much of the ethical and moral thinking we see at play in contemporary articulations of the good in political decision-making: deontology, utilitarianism, and contractualism. It also examines Confucianism, Ubuntu, and Sumak Kawsay to highlight the various ethical voices and traditions which have sustained political communities across the globe.