Covert Positive Incentives as an Alternative to War

| September 2018
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Abstract: Although often overlooked, positive incentives can play a key role in tackling aggression, human rights abuses, and the spread of weapons of mass destruction. In this essay, I focus on one form of positive incentives: covert incentives. First, I argue that covert incentives are preferable to overt incentives since they enable policymakers to eschew the shackles of public opinion and avoid worries of moral hazard and the corruption of international society. Second, I argue that covert incentives are often more justifiable than covert force since they do not involve problematic methods and do not make it easier to undertake military action. Accordingly, I conclude that there is a prima facie duty to employ covert positive incentives as opposed to overt incentives and covert force.

Keywords: positive incentives, covert force, democratic control, covert incentives, moral hazard

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Category: Essay, Issue 32.3, Roundtable: Alternatives to War, The Ethics of War and Peace

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