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Joy Gordon
Fairfield University (Fairfield, CT 06824-5195)
"A Peaceful, Silent, Deadly Remedy": The Ethics of Economic Sanctions

Economic sanctions have long been seen as a "middle route," more forceful than diplomacy, but still a nonviolent alternative to military action. For much of the twentieth century, sanctions were seen as an important tool of global governance. However, in recent years, the imposition of sanctions has in some cases resulted in widespread human damage, suggesting that economic sanctions should instead be considered a form of violence. I suggest that economic sanctions are fundamentally a form of violence, and require an ethical analysis based on this premise. Consequently, my project examines such questions as: when is it morally permissible for sanctions to be imposed, if they are likely to cause hardship to the innocent? What issues are raised if we look at sanctions within a deontological or utilitarian framework? This project also looks at questions of intentionality, collective responsibility, and moral agency.

Project fields:

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2010 – 8/31/2011