Between Samaritans and States: The Political Ethics of by Jennifer Rubenstein

By Jennifer Rubenstein

This ebook presents the 1st book-length, English-language account of the political ethics of large-scale, Western-based humanitarian INGOs, corresponding to Oxfam, CARE, and medical professionals without boundary lines. those INGOs are frequently both celebrated as 'do-gooding machines' or maligned as incompetents 'on the line to hell'. against this, this e-book indicates the image is extra complicated.

Drawing on political thought, philosophy, and ethics, in addition to unique fieldwork, this booklet exhibits that whereas humanitarian INGOs are frequently perceived as non-governmental and apolitical, they're in truth occasionally a little bit governmental, hugely political, and sometimes 'second-best' actors. consequently, they face 4 vital moral predicaments: the matter of spattered palms, the hindrance of the second-best, the cost-effectiveness conundrum, and the ethical motivation trade-off.

This booklet considers what it can appear like for INGOs to navigate those predicaments in ways in which are as constant as attainable with democratic, egalitarian, humanitarian and justice-based norms. It argues that humanitarian INGOs needs to usually make deep ethical compromises. In picking out which compromises to make, they need to concentration totally on their total results, in place of their intentions or the intrinsic worth in their actions. yet they need to interpret results expansively,
and no longer restrict themselves to those who are amenable to specific cost-benefit research. The booklet concludes by way of explaining the results of its 'map' of humanitarian INGO political ethics for person donors to INGOs, and for the way all of us should still conceive of INGOs' function in addressing urgent global
problems.

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