Strategic Moral Diplomacy: Understanding the Enemy's Moral Universe

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ISBN-13: 978-1565492905
ISBN-10: 1565492900
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Editorial Reviews


"Boyd-Judson's message is a well-researched, deeply personal plea ( the personal pronoun litters the book) for an ideal international diplomatic arena, surely to be a long time in coming. Voltaire's sentiment, 'I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it,' may apply here for iconclastic readers. Summing Up: Recommended."

"A timely and welcome reminder to politicians, pundits, and the public: peace processes involve more than resolving conflicting interests and require the presence of justice. As Boyd-Judson suggests in four compelling case studies, just solutions to complex and dangerous conflicts are possible when antagonists are able to comprehend not only each other's vital interests but also the particular moral values behind those interests."

“Lyn Boyd-Judson’s fine book draws on fascinating, well-presented case studies—involving Iran, Libya, Haiti and Zimbabwe—to show that it is smart diplomacy to take seriously the moral concerns of one’s adversary and to address them pragmatically. Drawing on deep knowledge of the cases and on original comparative arguments, Boyd-Judson provides a balanced and nuanced assessment of when and how moral considerations shape international negotiation."

"After defining "strategic moral diplomacy" as involving the acknowledgment of an enemy's moral universe as valid per philosopher Barbara Hermann's rules of moral salience, Boyd-Judson (U. of Southern California Institute for Humanities and Ethics) presents case studies addressing key questions regarding moral justification of positions in international conflicts. Based on interviews with negotiators and other participants, case studies discussed include the exile of the Shah of Iran (1979), negotiations with Libya's Qaddafi over the plane downing in Lockerbie (1997), and appropriations of land in Zimbabwe (1980-2000)."

"Lyn Boyd-Judson has addressed a major issue of our times -- Inclusive vs. Exclusive Diplomacy. She debates the benefits of allowing an adversary his own 'moral universe,' and concludes that utilizing inclusive diplomacy creates greater space for negotiations and softens adversarial 'positions.' Dr. Boyd-Judson’s vast policy experience coupled with her impeccable training in Political Science has produced a volume that is both highly readable, pertinent, and academically sound. Scholars and practitioners alike will find tremendous food for thought in Dr. Boyd-Judson’s work!"

About the Author

Lyn Boyd-Judson is director of the Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics (University of Southern California) and has taught at the USC Annenberg School of Journalism and the USC School for International Relations. Previous affiliations include RAND, the Carter Center of Emory University, the Hong Kong Legislative Council, the United States Embassy Berlin-Third Reich Document Center, and USC’s Center for International Studies. She has published in International Studies Quarterly, Foreign Policy Analysis, Georgetown University (Institute of Diplomacy Case Studies), and Leiden Journal of International Law. She is a University Fellow at the USC Center for Public Diplomacy, a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and has served on the executive boards of the International Political Science Association RC 29, the International Studies Association-West and the Women's Caucus of the International Studies Association, which she currently chairs. Boyd-Judson's research and teaching focus on diplomacy, ethics, global governance, and international negotiation. She is currently working on books on stories of global citizenship, and the ethics of state involvement in women’s global health.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Kumarian Press (April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565492900
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565492905
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,280,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
AS a hard-line conservative reading a 'liberal' political book, I thought I knew what to expect. I'd already done some research for the author at The Carter Center in Atlanta, and I was ready to read the final version, cock an eyebrow and forget it. But it made too much sense, and made more and more sense as I read through each case study. This is not a book for liberals or conservatives, it's a book for people who want to think about the nuances, the dark and light grays of judgment and decisions made in real time rather than the black and white after-the-fact 'history' of the event. In this book you will begin to discover the background truth rather than what we received in soundbites and the three paragraphs given to world news in most of the U.S. papers of the periods. Fascinating, well written and timely.

I have taken a much closer look at the current Libya-America 'kinetic' state rather than just accepting and swallowing what I'm served by the press. Would things have gone differently if those in charge had used Boyd-Judson's premise first?

If you want to continue to think of U.S. pitted against other world leaders as good guys and bad guys, don't read this book. If you want to begin to understand the dynamics of the world on a global level, this is the right way to start.
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Format: Paperback
The central argument of this book states that it is counterproductive to negotiate with an adversary if one does not understand that adversary's moral impetus to act. In short, it argues that it is not only erroneous to jump to conclusions about the aims and desires of "the other," it is strategically counterproductive to the pursuit of diplomacy. The value of this book is the means Boyd-Judson offers to assess the moral universe of the other on its own merit and interests served, not by whether one shares in or approves of that moral system. She does not argue for individual moral relativism. Rather, she argues for using the tenets of moral relativism to inform diplomatic strategy when that information advances a diplomatic agenda.

This book is a solid, upper-division or graduate text for those exploring post-modern political science and political ethics. Some background in political philosophy is necessary to navigate the first, densely packed chapters that present the theory. Boyd-Judson offers a few graphic supports but, in general, relies on the reader to fill in the supporting knowledge of political science and ethical philosophy. The method used to apply the theory, four case studies, does work to clear any confusion. The cases are logical, well documented and persuasive. They demonstrate that diplomacy in practice requires unlikely collaborations to solve problems, exactly the kinds of collaborations that never work if one side sees the other side as evil or ill-intended just because the other side works from a different moral base. Each case selected records successes and failures in U.S. foreign policy and, equally often, some of both. Strategic moral diplomacy is designed to maximize the chances of success.
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