The first chapters of this book revisit,
through essays devoted to thinkers in the field of poolitical philosophy
(from Machiavelli to Huntington), the tension between ethics and
politics, trying to suggest that ethics is intrinsically tied to
politics, and that moral awareness and realism are not in contradiction
insofar as we move beyond individual ethics and address the issue of
responsibility toward society and especially the rights and interests of
The second main focus of this book is terrorism, the vile and despicable
form of conflict that targets innocent civilians.
Both for terrorism and for other transnational threats and crises, from
the present downturn to global warming, though still primarily
responsible, cannot conceivably be adequate to the task. This is why
ethics and realist politics point in the same direction: that of the
need to recognize duties toward those who are not our fellow citiziens
as well as limitation to a sovereignty that, while legitimate, cannot be
used against both legal and moral norms (from the preface of the book).