Virtue Ethics and International Relations

Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of International Studies

Author/s (editor/s):

Kirsten Ainley

Publication year:


Publication type:

Book chapter

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Oxford University Press

Kirsten Ainley, ‘Virtue Ethics and International Relations’, in Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of International Studies, Oxford: Oxford University Press and the International Studies Association, 2017, pp. 1-26.

This chapter examines the International Criminal Court’s (ICC’s) attempts to prosecute sitting heads of states, and their repercussions, to establish the extent to which the ICC is failing or dysfunctional. In examining the cases, the chapter highlights aspects of ICC process which, perhaps unexpectedly, give reasons for optimism about the Court’s ability to uphold human rights in the future. I argue that, while the Office of the Prosecutor would clearly have preferred to be able to move forward in its prosecutions of Presidents Omar al-Bashir and Uhuru Kenyatta, its failure to do so demonstrates the ways in which the Court is maturing.

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