What We’ve Been Reading

| July 2016
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Welcome to our first roundup of news and current events related to ethics and international affairs! Here’s what we’ve been reading this summer:

NYTimes: Panel Endorses ‘Gene Drive’ Technology That Can Alter Entire Species

A U.S. advisory group has endorsed ongoing research on a groundbreaking genetic technology that has potential to allow humans to change or destroy entire populations of species.

Read more on ecological intervention in Ethics & International Affairs:

Ecological Intervention: Prospects and Limits [Full Text] by Robyn Eckersley

Some Worries about Ecological-Humanitarian Intervention and Ecological Defense [Full Text] by Mark Woods

Ecological Intervention in Defense of Species [Full Text] by Clare Palmer

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NYTimes: Our crime against the planet, and ourselves

Natasha Lennard and Adrian Parr discuss environmental degradation as a crime against humanity. Using a criminal justice lens, they consider who should be held responsible and what justice looks like.

Read more on climate change and climate justice in Ethics & International Affairs:

The Dawning of an Earth Ethic by Scott Russell Sanders

Ethical Enhancement in an Age of Climate Change by Paul Wapner

Moral Collapse in a Warming World by Clive Hamilton

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Julian Assange

Photo credit: Espen Moe

The Washington Post: 45 years after the Pentagon Papers, a new challenge to government secrecy

On the 45th anniversary of the publication of the Pentagon Papers, the debate over government secrecy, national security, and freedom of information continues on.

Read more on government secrecy and transparency in Ethics & International Affairs:

Against Moral Absolutism: Surveillance and Disclosure After Snowden by Rahul Sagar

Response to “Against Moral Absolutism: Surveillance and Disclosure After Snowden” [Full Text] by William E. Scheuerman

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World Economic Forum: We’re on the brink of an artificial intelligence arms race. But we can curb it.

“Above all, there is a need to recognize that humanity stands at an inflection point, with innovations in AI outpacing evolution in norms, protocols and governance mechanisms.”

Read more on emerging military technology and artificial intelligence in Ethics & International Affairs:

Killer Robots: Toward the Loss of Humanity [Full Text] by Denise Garcia

Terminator Ethics: Should We Ban “Killer Roberts”? [Full Text] by Jean-Baptiste Jeangène Vilmer

Toward a Drone Accountability Regime by Allen Buchanan and Robert O. Keohane

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Puerto Rico Hospital

Photo credit: Moebiusuibeom-en

WSJ: Puerto Rico’s Drastic Population Loss Deepens Its Economic Crisis (paywall)

Amid the country’s debt crisis and economic woes, the mass emigration of doctors and skilled professionals from Puerto Rico poses a threat to its public health infrastructure.

Read more on brain drain and the right to health in Ethics & International Affairs:

The Ethics of Immigration by Joseph Carens, reviewed by Michael Blake [Full Text]

The Human Right to Health by Jonathan Wolff, reviewed by Joia S. Mukherjee [Full Text]

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WPK Headquarters

Photo credit: Mark Fahey

Foreign Policy: U.S. Sanctions Kim Jong Un For First Time for Human Rights Abuses

Citing “notorious abuses of human rights,” the United States has declared sanctions targeted specifically at North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, re-igniting questions about the effectiveness and ethical implications of sanctions.

Read more on sanctions in Ethics & International Affairs:

Smart Sanctions Revisited by Joy Gordon

In Defense of Smart Sanctions: A Response to Joy Gordon by George A. Lopez

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BBC: Chilcot report: Tony Blair’s Iraq War case not justified

The UK inquiry on the Iraq War, also known as the “Chilcot” report, claims the decision to join the 2003 invasion of Iraq was “without just cause or purpose,” citing a central tenet in the just war tradition.

Read more on just war theory in Ethics & International Affairs:

Just War Theory and the Last of Last Resort by Eamon Aloyo

Coalitions of the Willing and Responsibilities to Protect: Informal Associations, Enhanced Capacities, and Shared Moral Burdens by Toni Erskine

Syria and the Just Use of Force Short of War [Full Text] by Daniel R. Brunstetter

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