Render unto caesar that which is caesar's: On the joint pursuit of morality and security

Piki Ish-Shalom*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Amitai Etzioni's book Security First proposes to reintroduce a sense of pragmatism into American foreign policy and encourage an attitude of "principled realism." Etzioni argues that only thus will it be feasible to attain a global architecture that secures the Primacy of Life: the most fundamental human right and the basis for efforts to promote democracy internationally. Assisted by feminist and cosmopolitan criticisms of John Rawls's Law of Peoples , the author identifies certain flaws in Etzioni's scheme, mainly the abandonment of less well-off minorities and disempowered dissidents. Subsequently, and inspired by the ethics of care, the author sketches a remedy for the flaws, namely a division of global assignments between different sorts of entities, such as states, nongovernmental organizations, transnational social movements, and individuals. The author argues that in this manner, security and morality can be pursued, can be realized in concert and not abandoning the less well-off minorities and disempowered dissidents to their fate can be endeavored.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1285-1302
Number of pages18
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Amitai Etzioni
  • Cosmopolitanism
  • Ethics of care
  • Feminism
  • John Rawls


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