Alan Gewirth and Gilles Paquet, Networking Ethics and Governance in Catastrophic Disaster Responses: An Ethical Perspective on Governance in the Haiti 2010 Earthquake

Alan Gewirth and Gilles Paquet, Networking Ethics and Governance in Catastrophic Disaster Responses: An Ethical Perspective on Governance in the Haiti 2010 Earthquake

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Title: Alan Gewirth and Gilles Paquet, Networking Ethics and Governance in Catastrophic Disaster Responses: An Ethical Perspective on Governance in the Haiti 2010 Earthquake
Author: Dixon, Robert
Abstract: In the immediate aftermath of the Haiti 2010 Earthquake, the Haitian Government and the United Nations (UN) Mission in Haiti were literally crippled. Various after action reports on the humanitarian response indicate that there were problems with coordination, humanitarian leadership and accountability, which signals underlying problems concerning governance and ethics. Moreover, military forces played an important role providing humanitarian assistance to the severely devastated communities of Haiti, sometimes causing concern among the other humanitarian actors. We are challenged to reflect on the role of governance in these situations, the ethical basis of intervention and the ethical dilemmas for all the actors. Gewirth’s Principle of Generic Consistency and the “community of rights” provide a research framework that could help identify the ethical obligations and duties of the actors; however, Gewirth’s “community of rights” is based on a concept of an established central, democratic government. Such a government was not in place in Haiti following the 2010 Earthquake yet Gewirthian rights and obligations still hold. Gilles Paquet’s concept of distributed or networked governance is useful for examining this situation and possibly providing a basis to support the Gewirthian position on community. Taking into consideration these aspects, my research problem is twofold: First, could Gewirth’s ethical perspective on community be supported by Paquet’s view of distributed or networked governance vice a central government? Second, could this conceptual combination contribute positively to an improved governance system amongst the international community, governments and militaries in catastrophic disaster responses?
Date: 2012
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/22857
Supervisor: Feist, Richard
Faculty: philosophy
Degree: MA

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