Global Justice and American Exceptionalism: The United States as a Model?
The "Lecture Series on Global Justice" aims to address the central challenges of ethics, international law, and human rights in a turbulent era. In the series' inaugural lecture, Ambassador Mark P. Lagon suggested how U.S. leadership can and must be a catalyst of norms of global justice, with a focus on the importance of U.S. conduct on treaties, trade policy, trafficking in persons, torture, targeting of suspected terrorists, transparency in campaign finance, and trust in institutions better matching the norms it calls other nations to meet. He examined the tradition of American exceptionalism—the notion that the United States has something special to offer the world to advance freedom and justice—and also addressed how, at the same time, the United States appears to exempt itself from the norms and scrutiny it calls for from other nations. Lagon also provided a forward-looking perspective on the implications of the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.