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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. What are the main aspects or components of International Morality?

    06 Oct, 2022 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions


    • Start your answer by defining international morality.
    • Discuss various theories of international relations.
    • Conclude accordingly.


    International morality refers to morals or codes of conduct governing relations between nations. The present-day world is divided into many independent territorial political communities. They constitute the international political order sometimes called the international legal order.


    • Approaches:
      • Realism:
        • Realism is an old doctrine that clearly states that a ruler should make a realistic assessment of the dangers from external enemies and take defensive measures. He should not merely place faith in the good intentions of other rulers.
          • At the same time, a ruler should abide by the rules of good behaviour. He should not attack and annex weaker kingdoms.
      • Idealism:
        • Idealism may be defined as the spirit which leads an individual or group to adopt loftier moral standards than those which prevail around them. Idealism in international relations can be traced back to the practices which governed relations between rulers in olden times.
          • One area in which the practices operated was war. Over time, norms arose that regulated the conduct of war, treatment of prisoners and of the vanquished who surrendered.
      • Ethics in India’s Foreign Policy:
        • India’s foreign policy is based on the Gandhian values of its freedom struggle.
        • Non-alignment or the right to follow an independent foreign policy and to decide foreign policy issues on merits,
        • Moral, diplomatic and economic support for the struggle against colonialism, racialism and apartheid,
        • Non-violence and the quest for nuclear disarmament, and
        • India’s role as an international peacemaker.
        • After independence India adopted Panchsheel approach in foreign policy,
        • The five principles to which states have to subscribe are:
          • Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty
          • Mutual non-aggression
          • Mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs
          • Equality and mutual benefit
          • Peace and coexistence
      • Ethics of Refugee Crisis:
        • Refugee ethics offers insights into how nations and other entities treat other refugees and migrants from other countries.
          • Human Rights: Refugee ethics ensure that the migrants and refugees get basic human rights. No boundary or political system of the world can take away those rights.
          • Showing Compassion and having empathy for the refugees is what political leaders as well as the local population need.
          • The refugee ethics promote no discrimination of the poor refugees in the alien country. They should be treated with dignity.
          • There is a need to ensure a safe haven for all refugees on the basis of the 1951 Refugee Convention which defines the term ‘refugee’ and outlines the rights of refugees, as well as the legal obligations of States to protect them and also ensure that they have access to basic needs i.e. food, clothing, shelter and also medical aid.


    With rise in Globalisation, the world has become more interconnected, and unethical behaviour by one country affects the whole world, so ethical behaviour in international diplomacy is needed to address the common problems like terrorism, climate change and removal of poverty and inequality and estabish peace among world countries.

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