The Creative Potential of Blame
: How the attribution of moral responsibility influences governmental actions in international relations

Student thesis: Doc typesDocteur en Sciences politiques et sociales


This thesis questions how the attribution of moral responsibility to states for their involvement in the conflict diamond trade led to the creation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). More generally, it seeks to understand the role of blame in international relations. Where IR scholars see manifestations of blame – such as naming and shaming – as emanating mostly from non-state actors, fixed in time, and directed towards a relatively passive target, I showed that (1) states can also enter the blame game, that (2) blaming is a dynamic process (3) having the potentiality to empower blamed actors. Indeed, by taking the lead for finding solutions, the same states that were denounced for their complicity in the wars managed both to avoid blame and to be praised for their leadership. With political power comes responsibility, says Hans Jonas. This thesis suggests that the reverse logic is also true: endorsing more responsibility can lead to power increase.
la date de réponse27 avr. 2021
langue originaleAnglais
L'institution diplômante
  • Universite de Namur
SuperviseurThierry Braspenning-Balzacq (Promoteur), Laurent De Briey (Président), Stephane BAELE (Jury), Valérie Rosoux (Jury), Ariel Colonomos (Jury) & Christopher L. Kutz (Jury)

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