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The Communitarian Foreign Policy of Amitai Etzioni

July 11, 2014

Amitai Etzioni’s communitarian perspective offers a comprehensive approach to international affairs in addition to offering guidance for domestic policy. His argument that a focus on traditional “realist” concerns for a nation’s security and interests (“security first”), combined with a dialogue over competing moral imperatives, is more likely to lead to the emergence of an idealist end state--a sustainable international community. His emphasis on gradualism--of breaking apart complex policy goals into small, discrete steps--comes from his assessment that this is a better way of promoting lasting change in the international system. His perspective does not fit neatly into any of the dominant U.S. foreign policy approaches, but his ideas have formed part of the foreign policy debate for the last fifty years.

Full article here.

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Treating Rationality as a Continuous Variable

July 07, 2014

Behavioral Economics has demonstrated that “people” (implying all) are unable to act as strong definitions of rationality assume. Their cognitive limitations are “hard wired”. However Behavioral Economics’ own data show that important segments of the population find “the” rational answer to choices posed to them. How do these findings square with the thesis that limitations are hard wired and universal? And, more attention should be paid to the extent to which various people deviate from the rational choice, and—whether training can improve performance despite the claim that flaws are hard wired.

Interview with Dr. Simon Dawes & Professor Etzioni

July 03, 2014

Professor Amitai Etzioni recently published an article outlining his liberal communitarian approach to balancing press freedom with national security, and criticising the publication of Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations. In this short interview, Dr. Simon Dawes asks him to outline his concept of communitarianism, his communitarian approach to values such as press freedom, privacy and national security, as well as his criticisms of the Snowden affair.