Towards a Credible Ethics for Global Governance


On 6 November 2012 the Academy of Finland appointed ECI Deputy Director Jan Klabbers as the first Martti Ahtisaari Academy Professor.

The new professorship has a focus on peace research and international conflict management. With Academy funding, Klabbers will form a research team through an international call for applications. The first stage of the project ran from 1 July 2013 until 30 June 2016, followed by two more years in the second stage.


There is, to date, no credible ethics of global governance, or even a credible ethics of international politics as traditionally conceived. The conduct of international politics is not often regarded as an ethical activity. While it is studied from a variety of angles, none of these is deemed to be particularly 'ethical'. This project aims to develop a virtue ethics of global governance by concentrating on the professional roles of relevant actors. Similar attempts have been undertaken in other decision-making settings: business school professors have applied virtue ethics to business decisions; public administration scholars have been working on public policy decisionmaking, and more generally, ethicists working within this tradition have come to apply it to a number of professions that have a public component, ranging from healthcare professionals to lawyers, including judges. This project hopes to contribute to the creation of such a credible ethics of global governance.

Project website