How Aggressive Is China?

August 29, 2016

Several policymakers and other experts have called China’s behavior, especially its activities in the South and East China Seas, ‘aggressive.’ This article compares China’s behavior with a suggested definition of ‘aggression’ based on the one enshrined in international law, and it finds that these experts’ use of the term ‘aggressive’ is inconsistent with this definition.

Designing AI Systems that Obey Our Laws and Values

August 25, 2016

Operational AI systems need to obey both the law of the land and our values. We propose AI oversight systems (“AI Guardians”) as an approach to addressing this challenge, and to respond to the potential risks associated with increasingly autonomous AI systems

The fusion of the private and public sectors

July 27, 2016

Much of contemporary analysis treats the public and private sectors as two rather separate and fundamentally different realms. Many see one of the two sectors as inherently virtuous and the other as corrupt. The paper shows, in considerable detail, that the two sectors are deeply intertwined. It follows that we need a rather different framework to study state and society.

The Surprising Link between Sustainability and Social Justice

July 22, 2016

The economic downturn (and rising inequality) has contributed to the rise of political alienation; the rise of a variety of right-wing expressions including xenophobia, racism, and anti-Semitism; and support for radical right-wing parties and politicians. What do these developments portend for the future?

From Partnership to Community

June 16, 2016

President of Israel Reuven Rivlin is calling for a dialogue among four “tribes” to develop a framework for a society-wide partnership in Israel.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank: A Case Study of Multifaceted Containment

June 02, 2016

Although some analysts have emphasized the importance of China’s becoming a “responsible stakeholder” in the international order, the United States has in effect blocked China’s full participation in a range of existing international institutions and attempted to undermine China’s efforts to create and lead new international institutions.

AI Assisted Ethics

May 05, 2016

The growing number of ‘smart’ instruments, those equipped with AI, has raised concerns because these instruments make autonomous decisions; that is, they act beyond the guidelines provided them by programmers. Hence, the question the makers and users of smart instruments face is how to ensure that these instruments will not engage in unethical conduct.

Happiness is the Wrong Metric

April 04, 2016

People are motivated not only by a quest for satisfaction but also by trying to live up to their sense of what is moral. This sense cannot be reduced to a form of satisfaction, among other reasons because it often engenders pain and sacrifice rather than pleasure.

Transforming the Active Orientation

March 29, 2016

Technology should help cultivate social and moral progress, rather than endless growth and consumerism.

Defining Down Sovereignty: The Rights and Responsibilities of Nations

March 01, 2016

Building on the precedent of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) paradigm, and in keeping with a redefinition of sovereignty as a form of citizenship that entails responsibilities as well as rights, the international community should recognize a responsibility of states to curb transnational terrorism that emanates from within their borders. 



February 09, 2016

Self-determination is the process by which a people who are governed by a foreign power gain self-government.The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism, and the Publisher (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.)

Sgt. Larry J. Isbell, representing the National Guard, watches his firing lane for targets. This photo is copyrighted by the U.S

Who Causes Civilian Casualties?

October 30, 2015

Here we go again, fighting with an arm tied behind our back. American officials say U.S. and allied warplanes "are not striking significant, and obvious, Islamic State group targets out of fear that the attacks will accidentally kill civilians," according to the New York Times. 

Self Determination: The Democratization Test

October 23, 2015

Self Determination is the process by which people, who are governed by a foreign power, gain self government. Often the people first form a sense of community - a sense of a shared identity, destiny, and core values - and then seek to invest those in a state, forming a nation. The term self determination is also used to refer to the normative principle that is evoked to justify breaking away from the old regime to form a new one. 

The Standing of the Public Interest

October 12, 2015

Liberal communitarianism holds that a good society is based on a carefully crafted balance between individual rights and the common good; that both normative elements have the same fundamental standing and neither a priori trumps the other. Societies can lose the good balance either by becoming excessively committed to the common good (e.g., national security) or to individual rights (e.g., privacy). 

Person with a megaphone

Right Does Not Make It Right

September 29, 2015

A crucial difference exists between the right to say the most awful things—to use the N-word, deny the Holocaust, advocate for the Islamic State—and the rightness of saying these things. It is the difference between a constitutional right to free speech and what we consider morally appropriate speech.