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(3,147 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
1. Begriff und HaupttypenE. (griech. ēthik椃 [ téchnē], »E.«, die Kunst vom 椃thos, »Sitte«, »Brauch«, »Charakter«) ist die Reflexion auf das gute und gerechte Handeln – »Handeln« verstanden als dasjenige menschliche Verhalten, das aus Freiheit vollzogen und somit verantwortlichen Akteuren zugerechnet werden kann. Unbeschadet ihres Charakters als eigenständiger Theorieaufgabe geht E. aus einem gelebten Ethos hervor; und trotz ihres Anspruchs auf Allgemeingültigkeit setzt jede E. zunächst partikulare kulturelle, religiöse oder welt…
Date: 2019-11-19


(3,305 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
1. Definition and major typesEthics (Greek  ethikḗ [ téchnē], “ethics,” the art of  thos, “custom,” “practice,” “nature”) is reflection on what constitutes good and just conduct – “conduct” understood as human actions performed in freedom and thus capable of being imputed to responsible agents. Despite its character as an autonomous theoretical approach, ethics emerges from a lived ethos; despite its claim to universality, every ethics initially posits particular cultural, religious, or ideological convict…
Date: 2019-10-14


(592 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
[German Version] refers to the threat of force by which another person is to be restrained from transgressing a social norm. Deterrence as a function of the state monopoly on force becomes at first a topic of domestic political ethics in criminal law, then, in the international context, as a doctrine in security policy that intends to restrain a potential enemy from attacking by strong military means. The system of deterrence established in the East-West conflict based on the threat ¶ of use of atomic weapons of mass destruction raises the fundame…


(410 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
[German Version] Terrorism is the systematic employment of especially brutal and shocking violence in pursuit of political ends. The definition of the agent is disputed: historically, the term terrorism initially (after the French Revolution) referred to the reign of terror on the part of the state. Restriction of the term to forms of violence carried out below the level of the state is based on the observation that methods employed by the anticolonial struggle for liberation were adopted by other groups and employed in other ¶ conflicts. It would be good to distinguish between t…

Public Duty of the German Protestant Church

(1,118 words)

Author(s): Reuter , Hans-Richard
[German Version] I. Concept The formation of this concept goes back to the experience of the Kirchenkampf during the Third Reich and to the social significance that was ascribed to the churches in Germany after 1945. Talk of the public duty ( Öffentlichkeitsauftrag) of the German Protestant church affirms that church action is relevant not only to individual salvation but also, beyond that, to the common good. What exactly was meant by it was variable, and still is. This has to do, on the one hand, with the fact that the formula not on…

Security, Internal and External

(567 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
[German Version] I. Security – from Latin securitas < s( in) e cura – subjectively means the sense of safety or freedom from apprehension; objectively it means a condition of safety and protection. With the emergence of the modern sovereign state, (public) security became a key concept for justifying the state’s monopoly on force (N. Machiavelli, T. Hobbes). The use of the abstract noun coincides generally with the emergence of the centralistic territorial state. Almost immediately there was a sharp termino…

League of Nations

(394 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
[German Version] The notion of a league of nations – drawn in part from motifs of Judeo-Christian eschatology (Isa 2:2–4) – goes back to widely broadcast plans for an organization devoted to world peace that were developed in the early 14th century (Pierre Dubois), in the 17th century (Maximilien de Sully, W. Penn), and at the beginning of the 18th century (Abbé de St. Pierre), but above all in I. Kant's philosophical tract Zum ewigen Frieden (1795; ET: Perpetual Peace, 1915). Against this background, even during World War I but especially in his Fourteen Points of Jan 18,…


(535 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
[German Version] I. Concept and History – II. International Criminal Law I. Concept and History The German term Völkermord refers to a variety of actions undertaken to annihilate various social groups; the element of “murder” need not be fulfilled nor a ¶ “people” be the sole victims. The term “genocide,” coined by Raphael Lemkin (from Gk γένος/ génos: kind, people, tribe; Lat. caedere: to annihilate, kill) is more precise. Prompted by his study of the Turkish mass murder of the Armenians (Turkey), the persecution of the Assyrian Christians in Iraq at th…

Church Politics

(595 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
[German Version] I. The term “church politics” usually means either the politics of the state (or a party or social organization) toward the churches, or internal church politics. In a pluralistic community, the former meaning falls under ¶ the heading of religious politics and will therefore not be considered here. In both uses, the origins of the term (though not of the phenomenon itself) are intimately connected with the tendency toward mutual emancipation of church and state. In the 19th century, representat…

United Nations

(831 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
[German Version] I. Origin Soon after the outbreak of World War II, the collapse of the League of Nations led to plans for a new world peace organization, as described in the Atlantic Charter, the joint declaration of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill published on Aug 14, 1941. On Jan 1, 1942, its goals were affirmed in the Declaration by United Nations (UN) signed by 26 countries at war with the so-called Axis Powers. The Charter, worked out by representatives of 50 countries, took effect on Oct 24, 1945. II. Goals and Principles According to article 1 of the Charter, the prim…

International Organizations

(432 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
[German Version] Political science distinguishes between international governmental organizations (IGOs) and international non-governmental organizations (INGOs). An IGO is a cooperating association which has been formalized in a multilateral treaty under international law by at least three states whose jointly fixed normative standards have internally led to a definition and balancing of expected mutual reactions; at the same time, the IGO functions externally by interacting with the member state…

War, International Law of

(507 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
[German Version] Given the general prohibition of the use of violence in article 2 of the United Nations charter, the term international law of war covers only the body of international regulations that impose limitations on combat operations on both parties (including in some cases the UN itself) in an armed conflict that has already broken out. The modern law of war includes ethico-legal principles that were normative for ius in bello in the context of theories of a just war and have the force of customary law. Today, however, the international law of war is larg…

World Peace Order

(499 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
[German Version] The project of a world peace order has been on the political agenda since the early 20th century, when a classic war between states twice transmogrified into a world war. After 1945 realization of a world peace order was blocked initially because world peace was enforced by a balance of mutually assured destruction (Deterrence) between the two imperial powers, the United States and the Soviet Union. When the confrontation of the Eastern and Western blocs ended in 1989/1990, implem…

Public Opinion

(1,019 words)

Author(s): Reuter , Hans-Richard
[German Version] I. General Concept “Public opinion” is one of the most ambiguous concepts in the history of political ideas and social sciences. on account of its dual empirical/normative status, the concept may refer both to a counterfactual claim and to a social reality. Its antecedent semantics ( fama popularis, vox populi, consensus gentium) may be traced throughout antiquity and the Middle Ages; in the early modern ¶ period, N. Machiavelli underlined the importance of the publica voce et fama as a condition of successful political action. As late as the 18th century…

Öffentliche Meinung

(827 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
[English Version] I. Allgemein »Öfftl. M.« gehört zu den vieldeutigsten Begriffen der polit. Ideengesch. und der Sozialwissenschaften. Infolge seines empirisch-normativen Doppelstatus kann der Begriff sowohl auf einen kontrafaktischen Anspruch wie auf eine soziale Realität verweisen. Die Vorläufersemantik (fama popularis, vox populi, consensus gentium) durchzieht Antike und MA; in der frühen Neuzeit thematisierte N. Machiavelli die publica voce et fama als Bedingung erfolgreichen polit. Handelns. N…

Öffentlichkeitsauftrag der Evangelischen Kirche

(927 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
[English Version] I. Zum Begriff Die Entstehung des Begriffs geht auf die Erfahrung des Kirchenkampfs im Dritten Reich und auf die den Kirchen in Deutschland nach 1945 zugeschriebene gesellschaftliche Bedeutung zurück. Die Rede vom Ö. besagt, daß das kirchl. Handeln über seinen Bezug auf das individuelle Heil hinaus Relevanz für das Gemeinwohl besitzt. Das genauere Verständnis war und ist uneinheitlich. Dies hängt einerseits damit zus., daß die Formel nicht nur zur Charakterisierung des kirchl. Selb…


(459 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
[English Version] . Begriff und Geschichte: V. bez. vielfältige Handlungen zur Vernichtung verschiedenartiger sozialer Gruppen, bei denen weder der Tatbestand des »Mordes« erfüllt, noch ausschließlich »Völker« betroffen sein müssen. Präziser ist der von Raphael Lemkin geprägte Begriff des Genozids (von griech. γε´n̆ος/génos: Art, Volk, Stamm; lat. caedere: zerschlagen, töten). Veranlaßt durch sein Studium des türkischen Massenmords an den Armeniern (Türkei) und der Verfolgung ass. Christen im Irak Anfang des 20.Jh. sowie das eigene Erl…

Vereinte Nationen (United Nations, UN)

(657 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
[English Version] I. Entstehung Das Scheitern des Völkerbunds führte bald nach Ausbruch des 2. Weltkriegs zu Plänen für eine neue Weltfriedensorganisation, so in der als Atlantik-Charta bez. gemeinsamen Erklärung von Franklin D. Roosevelt und Winston Churchill vom 14.8.1941. Zu deren Zielen bekannten sich am 1.1.1942 in der »Declaration by United Nations« 26 Staaten, die gegen die sog. Achsenmächte Krieg führten. Die von Vertretern aus 50 Staaten ausgearbeitete Charta trat am 24.10.1945 in Kraft. II. Ziele und Grundsätze Zu den Zielen der UN gehören laut Art.1 ihrer…


(334 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
[English Version] . Die Völkerbundsidee geht – z.T. in Anknüpfung an Motive der jüd.-christl. Eschatologie (Jes 2,2–4) – auf publizistische Pläne zu einer weltweiten Friedensorganisation zurück, die Anfang des 14.Jh. (Pierre Dubois), im 17.Jh. (Maximilien de Sully, W. Penn) und zu Beginn des 18.Jh. (Abbé de St. Pierre), v.a. aber in I. Kants philos. Entwurf »Zum ewigen Frieden« (1795) entwickelt worden waren. Daran orientiert propagierte der amer. Präsident Th.W. Wilson, noch während des 1. Weltkr…


(400 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
[English Version] . Das Projekt einer W. steht realpolit. auf der Tagesordnung, seit sich im 20.Jh. der klassische Staatenkrieg (Krieg) zweimal zum Weltkrieg ausgeweitet hat. Die Verwirklichung einer W. blieb auch nach 1945 zunächst blockiert, weil der Weltfrieden unter die balancierte, auf wechselseitige Abschreckung gestützte Dominanz der beiden imperialen Mächte USA und Sowjetunion geriet. Mit dem Ende der Blockkonfrontation 1989/90 ist die Implementierung einer W. möglich, aber angesichts neue…
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