Aula Inaugural dos Programas de Doutoramento CES-UC

Is Suffering a Source of Global Progress?

Michael Barnett (George Washington University)

13 de outubro de 2017, 15h00

Auditório da FEUC (Coimbra)


Humanitarianism, human rights, global public health, and various other initiatives of the international community are often interpreted as signs of moral progress, and the great leaps forward often come on the heels of great suffering. Why? Does the presence of suffering suggest that progress is parasitic on human tragedy and misery? But why does the international community respond in this way? I want to suggest that these so-called advances are ways of answering a moral crisis and restoring a belief in the idea of humanity. These acts of humanity are not about the physical suffering of others, but rather as a way of addressing our crisis of faith.