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The Heart of JusticeCare ethics and Political Theory$
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Daniel Engster

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199214358

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199214358.001.0001

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Care Theory and International Relations

Care Theory and International Relations

(p.159) 4 Care Theory and International Relations
The Heart of Justice

Daniel Engster (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the question: What does it mean to care for others in international relations? Sara Ruddick, Fiona Robinson, and others have outlined international relations theories based upon care ethics, but their accounts are fairly general and say little about the rights and policies necessary for establishing caring relations among people across the world. The first half of this chapter develops a human rights framework based upon human beings' universal duty to care for others. The chapter argues that this framework avoids the central shortcomings of other international rights frameworks, and more generally provides a standard of justice that should be reasonably acceptable to people from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. The second half of the chapter outlines some specific strategies and policies for enforcing human rights abroad and caring for distant others. In the last section, the chapter discusses the conditions under which care theory might justify the use of military force, especially for the sake of intervening into other countries for humanitarian purposes.

Keywords:   care ethics, cosmopolitanism, cultural relativism, feminism, Fiona Robinson, human rights, humanitarian intervention, international aid, just war, normative international relations theory, Sara Ruddick, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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