At a time when globalization has side-lined many of the traditional, state-based addressees of legal accountability, it is not clear yet how blame is allocated and contested in the new, highly differentiated, multi-actor governance arrangements of the global economy and world society. Moral Agency and the Politics of Responsibility investigates how actors in complex governance arrangements assign responsibilities to order the world and negotiate who is responsible for what and how.

The book asks how moral duties can be defined beyond the territorial and legal confines of the nation-state; and how obligations and accountability mechanisms for a post-national world, in which responsibility remains vague, ambiguous and contested, can be established. Using an empirical as well as a theoretical perspective, the book explores ontological framings of complexity emphasizing emergence and non-linearity, which challenge classic liberal notions of responsibility and moral agency based on the autonomous subject. Moral Agency and the Politics of Responsibility is perfect for scholars from International Relations, Politics, Philosophy and Political Economy with an interest in the topical and increasingly popular topics of moral agency and complexity.

chapter 1|18 pages


Moral agency and the politics of responsibility

part I|50 pages

Challenging traditional notions of moral agency and responsibility

chapter 2|15 pages

Democratic moral agency

Altering unjust conditions in practices of responsibility

chapter 3|15 pages

Promoting responsible moral agency

Enhancing institutional and individual capacities

chapter 4|18 pages

Technologically blurred accountability?

Technology, responsibility gaps and the robustness of our everyday conceptual scheme

part II|35 pages

Demanding and contesting responsibility in the international community

chapter 6|18 pages

Responsibility contestations

A challenge to the moral authority of the UN Security Council

part III|48 pages

Practising the politics of responsibility in global governance

chapter 7|17 pages

In search of equity

Practices of differentiation and the evolution of a geography of responsibility

chapter 8|13 pages

The business of responsibility

Supply chain practice and the construction of the moral lead firm

chapter 9|16 pages

Pluralisation of authority in post-conflict peacebuilding

The re-assignment of responsibility in polycentric governance arrangements

part IV|52 pages

De-constructing responsibility in an interconnected world

chapter 10|16 pages

Responsibilising through failure and denial

Governmentality as double failure

chapter 11|15 pages

Bringing therapeutic governance back home

US responsibility and drug-related organised crime in the Americas

chapter 12|14 pages

Distributed responsibility

Moral agency in a non-linear world

chapter 13|7 pages


Practising the politics of responsibility