A Humanist Science: Values and Ideas in Social Inquiry

March 01, 2010

“A Humanist Science: Values and Ideas in Social Inquiry,” Law and Society Review 44, No. 1 (March 2010), pp. 185-186.

Philip Selznick provides, in A Humanist Science, a remarkable capstone to a long and outstanding lifetime of scholarly work.

The Normativity of Human Rights is Self Evident

February 01, 2010

Attempts to justify human rights in terms of other sources of normativity unwittingly weaken the case of human rights. Instead these rights should be treated as moral causes that speak to us directly, as one of those rare precepts that are self-evident.

Life: The Most Basic Human Right

January 10, 2010

Not all rights have been created equal. This essay contends that the right to life—broadly understood as a right to be free from deadly violence, maiming, torture, and starvation—is paramount and argues that the unique standing of the right to life has significant implications for public policy in general, and for foreign policy in particular.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems: The Moral and Legal Case

January 01, 2010

The substantial increase in the employment of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other arenas has intensified the debate about the moral and legal nature of the targeted killing of people who are said to be civilians. 

Bottom-Up Nation Building

December 31, 2009

The tired debate between those who believe in nation-building and those who scoff at it glosses over a major difference between top-down and bottom-up society-building. The starting point for a bottom-up approach is the communitarian recognition that societies — even modern, so-called “mass” societies — are not composed of just millions upon millions of individual citizens.

Behavioral Economics: A Methodological Note

October 06, 2009

When a theory faces a set of facts that are not compatible with its key assumptions, there are several ways it might respond. In response to the challenge posed by behavioral economics, neoclassical economics has attempted numerous different approaches. After briefly reviewing these responses, this paper turns to argue in favor of one of them.

Strength in Numbers

September 01, 2009

Communities can shape our identity as individuals and strengthen adherence to social norms – but how compatible are community values with universal rights? Amitai Etzioni explores this basic duality.

Zero is the Wrong Number

September 01, 2009

President Barack Obama has so far made only one strategic mistake, but it is a major one. It concerns the greatest security threat to the United States, other free nations, and world peace--nuclear arms in the hands of terrorists, as well as rogues and falling regimes. 

Samson’s Children

August 29, 2009

Israel makes me stay up nights. There are too many people who “know” that Iran will not build a bomb (“they said so, repeatedly!”); that if it does build one—Iran is not going to drop it on Tel Aviv (“they are not crazy”); that Iran is merely clamoring for attention (“you know, they have long been ignored and humiliated”).

Eine florierende Gesellschaft

August 29, 2009

Die Basis dieser Pyramide bilden die korperlichen Grundbedurfniasse. 

Hey Big Spenders

August 27, 2009

In an article in May, The Economist praised France for resisting the worst effects of the global economic crisis. France and Germany appear to have fared well in comparison with Britan and the US.

The Common Good Rights, Dutch

August 11, 2009

Veel filosofen geven de voorkeur aan gedachtestelsels die zich concentreren op een kernwaarde. 

Algemeen belang cruciaal voor publieke moraal

August 10, 2009

De morele waarde van mensenrechten en virjbeld is zo belangrijk voor wertenschappers,

Is Transparency the Best Disinfectant?

July 17, 2009

Transparency is a highly regarded value, a precept used for ideological purposes, and a subject of academic study. The following critical analysis attempts to show that transparency is overvalued.

Spent: America after consumerism

June 17, 2009

Much of the debate over how to address the economic crisis has focused on a single word: regulation