Dec 13, 2009

value and criterion pairs for the economic sanctions resolution

A work in progress. Suggest your own in the comments.

Remember that this is one of those "affirming a negation" resolutions: Economic sanctions ought not be used to achieve foreign policy objectives.

Trending Affirmative

V: Justice
C: Rawls' Difference Principle (or the Veil of Ignorance?)
Sanctions punish the worst-off by limiting economic growth or keeping critical goods out of the hands of those who need them most.

V: Justice
C: Protecting Innocents (variations on a theme of Just War theory) or Deontology
The gist of the argument: innocents are punished by sanctions; for various reasons, this is wrong. In Kantian ethics, persons are never to be used as a mere means to an end. Arguments can also be made based on retribution or proportionality; innocents should not suffer for the sake of their country's leaders, since they are not due punishment.

V: Prosperity or Societal Welfare or...
C: Capitalism / Free Market
Sanctions interfere with the free market. This stunts overall economic and technological development, increases conflict, reduces the pacifying power of globalization, etc.

Trending Negative

V: National Security
C: Pragmatism or Realism or somesuch
I heard the "toolbox" metaphor employed a few times this weekend: we have to keep all the necessary tools at our disposal. Declaring that we ought not use sanctions limits our options to, essentially, inaction (which is immoral), diplomacy (which is weak), or war (which is often far too costly).

V: National Security or International Stability
C: Preserving Hegemony

V: Peace or Life
C: Preventing Proliferation
Sanctions can keep weapons, especially nuclear weapons, out of the hands of dictators. Even if they're not 100% effective, they are less costly--and less likely to cause spectacular "blowback"--than war.

V: Governmental Legitimacy
C: Social Contract
States are beholden only to their own citizens. There may be practical reasons for avoiding sanctions, but no inherently moral duty for the state to forgo them.


Could Go Either Way

V: Societal Welfare (or Morality or Life)
C: Consequentialism (or Utilitarianism, Act or Rule)
I've already seen arguments on both sides: that sanctions are ineffective and thus waste precious time, energy, and resources; that they benefit organized crime; that they strengthen tyrants; that they hurt average citizens, leading to other ills. On the other hand, I've seen Negs argue for "targeted" or "smart" sanctions; the claim is that they're more effective and don't punish the wrong people. I've also seen it argued that sanctions are more effective at the "threat stage" (and therefore must be used from time to time to keep their deterrent effect). Some are arguing (as per above) that, when faced with intractable opposition, the basic choice is between sanctions or war, and the costs of war are too high. In short, if you choose consequentialism as a criterion, prepare for a potentially back-and-forth round full of twists and "turns."

V: Peace
C: Pacifism or Isolationism

64 comments:

Anonymous said...

Personally, for the affirmative I'm going to run the value of Justice with the criterion of Protecting Human Rights. It's fairly straightforward from there.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing you don't do very well at larger tournaments, anon #1. Such a generic position is a fast pass to slaughter.

daniel.at said...

Hmm,

Why is isolationism an Affirmative VC?

Wouldn't using sanctions limit economic exchange and thus isolate countries economically and politically?

How would affirming use isolationism? Affirmative should be AGAINST sanctions because they create isolationism, no?

I think a critique of foreign policy on the Affirmative could be very beneficial if the harms of foreign policy are construed to be isolation.

Jim Anderson said...

anonymous 1, "Protecting human rights" is workable, but it leads to a lot of immediate questions. Which is more important: protecting more rights, or more rights-holders? Which rights count? Which count most?

anonymous 2, let's keep things friendly, eh?

daniel, classic isolationism is pointed inward. In other words, isolationists want their own nations to stay out of others' affairs, to "avoid entangling alliances" and to keep out of global conflicts. It's based on pragmatic concerns--conflict is costly--and on strong views of national sovereignty.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2, you need to learn how to keep things friendly. Being rude will also lead you to not do well in tournaments.

Julia said...

I really like the difference principal idea, and am hoping to run that, but I think that I will probably write a protecting innocents case as well. For the neg, I am thinking of running something along the lines of morality as the value and limiting violent conflict as the criterion. Anonymous 2, be civil please. At least he writes his own cases, unlike novices at some schools.

Matt said...

There are a lot of interesting positions for each side. I think knowing how international politics work (as well as we can right?) is going to be key to winning on this topic on both sides.

Neg can do some sort of "No sanctions trade off with military Force" DA. That would be interesting to watch.

Also Look at immanual Kant's "perpetual peace" for the AFF

Anonymous said...

Why not use a Value of Morality on the NEG. It would be textually warranted and creat clash with any AFFs running counterplans, most specifically invasion.

Also why are people primarily focusing on justification of economic sanctions? I think it would be smart to prove their use or ineifficency at achieving foreign policy objectives.

Or why not just make a foreign policy K....

idk

Jim Anderson said...

anonymous, it's the word "ought," which can (ought to?) be interpreted morally. Even efficiency can be argued morally, within a utilitarian framework.

Patrickc said...

I think, on negative, you could value Morality/Moral Law/Justice
with a criterion of deontology saying that we have an obligation NOT to cooperate with evil (The country who does something dastardly enough that sanctions are required). It therefore does no matter the consequentalist result of people suffering. It is the act, cooperating with evil, which should be judged.

maggie said...

How does social contract work for neg?

saying that citizens ought to give up right only for THEIR society?

Matt said...

@maggie

The Social Contract Negative that Jim put up argues that a government has obligations ONLY to its own citizens. Thus a moral duty regarding foreign policy doesn't exist. Note that this case only works under an obligation based definition of ought, this would get slaughtered under a desirability framework.

Jim Anderson said...

maggie, if the SC defines legitimate government action (what governments ought or ought not do), and if sanctions primarily harm other nations' citizens, then the SC--which protects the rights of its own citizens only, in this reading--would permit the use of sanctions..

Jim Anderson said...

Matt, jinx.

Johnny said...

Hey Guys, i was wondering if any one had quotes for aff and neg?... also i wanted input on education as an aff value?? you would argue that economic sanctions could take away the pursuit of knowledge? Thank you for any feed back

Ricky said...

what about Hobbe's Theory of International Anarchy as neg criterion? argue that we are not morally obligated to help or care for citizens of another country because we didn't sign a social contract with them?

Anonymous said...

Im thinking of using a toolbox burden for the neg and using the Iaea as an example actor for instance we dont sell weapons grade plutonium to belligerent states. Thus we avoid huge casualties and limit harm to basically nothing. You don't need uranium to live.

Anonymous said...

I think another one that fits a classical philosphical role is that of justice or morality with Categorical Imperative.

tiberius said...

How about arguments saying that ES did not cause the repeal of Apartheid because a great deal of internal rebellion had already taken place in S. Africa

Anonymous said...

Quick quetion, how is inaction immoral?

Jim Anderson said...

Latest Anonymous, inaction could be considered immoral if action would reduce harm (as long as it doesn't--or, if you're Kantian, despite the fact that it might--increase harm), and if inaction means the harm will continue unabated.

Anonymous said...

How would Kant's Perpetual peace work for the aff

Courtney said...

For Aff:

V: Morality
Cr: Contractualsim/Deontology

Which one would work better...can't decide.

Also, I would really like to consequentialsim as my criteria for an aff case, but I don't know what value to do. Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

If you used deontology as your VC,and justice as your V on Aff, you would be essentially be arguing that we are preserving justice by doing what we are morally obligated to do, correct?

Anonymous said...

Also, would constructiv bilateralsim work as a VC?

Anonymous said...

Overall, I think that a straight justice or morality argument must be made. Efficiency never has a place in LD, because we are talking about philisophical ideals. Therefore, the neg has to show that sanctions are moral when used. (they do work sometimes, such as in South Africa, so inefficiency also doesn't work.) The aff then has to show that, whether they work or not, they are a moral action. "Ought" could be a good link to morality.

lil' petey said...

On Aff I was thinking something simple but effective:
how about valuing security (probably could be national but my case works better with individual) backing it up with a criterion of protecting innocence? basically saying that economic sanctions hurt innocent people in society as much or more than the government they are directed at and that is not just

Anonymous said...

Is there some way (like an Ra or a framework or something) that can limit the aff's disadvantage? It seems like aff has to prove economic sanctions are always bad while neg only has to find one example of how it is good to win

Courtney said...

Latest anonymous:

I think the Aff has a huge advantage. Not only do sanctions not work most of the time, but when they do work they harm innocent people.

Harming innocent people, using people as means to end, etc.= immoral

In my opinion Neg has to say that sanctions are moral.

IE - better choice than war, not cooperating with evil, etc. = moral

Also, having some proof on why getting rid of sanctions isn't practical as some backup is a good idea. Someone will run a "sanctions don't work" case.

The Anarchist said...

Could I value Human Rights on the aff with a criterion of Kant's Categorical Imperative? of should I go with a value of Governmental Legitimacy.

Jennifer said...

I'm wondering if you could argue that economic sanctions ought not be used because they promote the aims of capitalism (in many cases) and not the specific foreign policy aims of a specific country or countries. Although I suppose that capitalism and foreign policy aims of first world nations are inextrabily linked. Still, could you argue otherwise?

Alex said...

Since it seems that everyone is running Human Rights for their affirmative, I will give my opinion as of Human Rights. Running Human Rights for the Affirmative is a bit sketchy because when using economic Sanctions usually aims at protecting the international community and every other nation. IE: the sanction against North Korea is aimed at stopping their Nuclear Program. Its citizens might be noting getting their full potential of obtaining food and medication, but not having economic sanctions threatens the rights of everyone that could have conflict with North Korea considering the proliferation of their weapons. Thus, having Negative use the Affirmatives value of Human Rights as their own.

Anonymous said...

What social contract says that the government has the responsibility to only protect its own citizens?

Anonymous said...

Hi, Im pretty new to debate, and I really like the idea of the "toolbox" metaphor and the National Security/Realism Value criterion pair. My question is, how do you link national security to the resolution. Also, at our school and tournaments, we are advised to put a verb before our criterion, such as "maintaining realism" instead of just realism. Could you explain how realism relates to the toolbox metaphor?

Thanks to all who reply

Jenny said...

So far, I really can't think of much for NEG. So far all I've seen is how ineffective and devastating to humanity ec. sanctions are; they're even compared to WMD. I'm thinking about running social welfare with prudence, but I can't seem to find anything good on prudence to use in my case.
Also, how do smart sanctions fit into the definition of economic sanctions?

Jim Anderson said...

All, I've answered the bulk of your questions in a separate post.

Oregon Debater said...

What do you think of this standard?:
v: Duty
c: Social Responsibility of businesses

Businesses have a social responsibility to return to their shareholders, which they can't if one of their major clients has been sanctioned. This is obviously an AFF standard.

Jim Anderson said...

Oregon Debater, it obviously works as an Aff standard; I guess my major question would be how you'd defend it against, say, a value of Human Rights on the Neg. Intuitively, I'd bet there's a strong presumption in favor of rights over profit--and, going along with that, the government's role over that of business.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking about running the idea on the neg that there is no universal set of morals, so it is impossible to claim that sanctions are immoral. Morality is an individual choice. This would prevent me from getting sucked into having to defend sanctions as moral. Thoughts??

Brian said...

Could someone explain pragmatism and realism for me? I like the toolbox metaphor, but to use it properly, a proper value and value criterion pair is required.

Anissa said...

how would you define prosperity as a value?

Jim Anderson said...

anonymous, moral relativism can be argued, but is a slippery fish. It's tough to argue that, say, genocide is just a matter of one's viewpoint.

Brian, the toolbox metaphor works well with a value of national security and a criterion of pragmatism or prudence or preserving national interests or maintaining global stability or somesuch.

Anissa, if you stick with material prosperity, you link most strongly with the resolution (on the Aff, at least). You can argue that wealth is a precondition for wellbeing, generally speaking--if there's no ceiling, there's at least a floor, or baseline, where individual (and hence national) prosperity lead to better quality of life, education, emotional wellbeing, etc. Also, prosperity is the end result of virtues like hard work and enterprise, for those who view capitalism as a moral system. (See here, for example.)

Anonymous said...

I am trying to use efficacy as a value for aff- i know this basis for a case seems like more of a policy argument, but i am tying in moral efficacy and practical efficacy. This may still be a stretch, but my problem is the criterion. What is a good criterion i could use? i considered Utilitarianism, but it may be to risky in terms of attack from my opponents.

Anonymous said...

Is there a certain philosopher who advocates realism/pragmatism? Where can I find a simple definition of realism that actually relates to the resolution and not 'existence'? Thanks!

Matt said...

Kritikal AC Positions anyone?

The Empire
Neolib
Cap bad
Critical Realism
Imperialism

YES!

Jim Anderson said...

first anonymous, it seems to me that efficacy is a means to something like societal welfare or national security. As a criterion, "promoting effective policies" can be justified on few levels: that resources are scarce and time is precious, that lives are at stake if we fail, that governments have a social contract to uphold... I'm sure there are other reasons as well.

second anonymous, if you run "political realism" wholesale, be very careful. Classic realism argues that the state of world affairs is anarchic, and that governments shouldn't pursue grand ethical ideals, but should operate out of prudence--preserving stability and, ultimately, their own power. Two names are Morgenthau and Mearsheimer.

For pragmatism, the "Good reasons approach" is adopted by Stephen Toulmin and Kai Neilsen.

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain to me how to link a value of national security and a value criterion of pragmatism together and how to explain it?

Anonymous said...

For #7, how would you explain consequentalism as a value criterion for societal welfare (or the similar)?

Oregon Debater said...

I would like to point out to all negations running the toolbox metaphor: the resolution states that they ought not be used, not that they will not be used. You buy a gun, and you ought not shoot someone, but you still have that gun in your "toolbox." My friend and I came up with that one and he used it to absolutely crush his neg opponent in quarterfinals.

Anonymous said...

A good idea to use for aff is that as an observation you can state that the affirmative just needs to prove that economic sanctions ar not just, not that not having them is just. Thus, there does not need to be a net benefit to affirming there just needs to be proof the neg is not morally correct.

Anonymous said...

hello,
id like to know where i could get evidence to show that sanctions can prevent a country from going to war. Also, can anyone tell me where to get information from for writing cases in general?

Oregon Debater said...

The Heritage Foundation article is wicked awesome because it gives the example of South Africa under the Apartheid; great for the neg. Generally I like the Heritage foundation stuff for LD, its got good info.

Anonymous said...

can someone help me with coming up with arguments for neg? I'm running a value of morality with a criterion of humanitarianism.

Anonymous said...

same guy as above. Sorry I meant arguments for aff, not neg. My neg is morality with limiting violent confliction

Anonymous said...

What do you think of a Value of Morality with a VC of Pragmatism?

frezmatt said...

I'm thinking of doing an Aff case with v/vc of Morality/Categorical Imperative...Whadya think?

Jim Anderson said...

Anonymous 1 / 2, Regarding your humanitarian Aff, I think it could work, especially if tied to arguments about the dignity of persons, not using persons merely as a means to an end, etc.

For the Neg, one of the express purposes of sanctions is to avoid the need for violent conflict; also, sanctions are used to limit weapons trade and nuclear proliferation. (Whether they're successful, of course, is arguable.) If you come across a judge who requires a "philosophical" criterion, you could easily tie your arguments to Negative Utilitarianism--reducing suffering / harm.

Anonymous 3, you can definitely use Pragmatism, although I'm not sure "morality" is the strongest value to link to it. Pragmatism's fundamental driving question is, "What works?" From a national perspective, it might link more strongly to Societal Welfare or National Security.

frezmatt, I've seen some good cases based on Kantian ethics for the Aff. You could also value Human Dignity or Justice--depends on which you think is the best value for the resolution / weighed against potential Neg values.

(I deleted Anonymous 4's complaint that I lack a certain machismo, not because it was crass, but because it seemed to be placed on the wrong thread. Try again, sport.)

Anonymoose said...

For neg I was thinking of using a criterion of realpolitik, Otto von Bismarck's opportunistic idea that politics should be based on practical and material factors rather than those that are theoretical or ethical. Could my opponent validly argue that that goes against LD?

Rupi said...

for the aff. i'm going to run the value of morality and a criterion of kants categorical imperiative arguing that innocents should not suffer for the sake of their country's leaders; since they are not due any punishment.as it is morally wrong.

Anonymous said...

I dont get how deontology can be applied as a vc for affirmative-isn't deontology meaning we can't sacrifice one to save many? Then that one persons life is valued above the other people...So it wouldnt be proving sanctions moral since they are valuing some people's lives (gov.) over the citizens

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,

I'm not feeling to Rawls Criterion for Aff. If the Aff uses the Diff Principle, can't that be knocked over quite easily? DP focuses too much on improving the disadvantaged, that's a bit limited. if ALL inequality must favor the worst off,what of the rest? is that justice? Moreover i think it'd be hard to weigh the round with DP, the neg couldn't use it effectively, right? Anyway that's what I was thinking up until now but I may be very wrong x_x I'd appreciate your advice!!

Jim Anderson said...

Anonymoose, as long as you present it as a V/C structure--valuing national security, with a criterion of realpolitik--it's defensible as a framework. It might suffer in comparison to a more "moral" framework given the word "ought' in the resolution--but there are responses for that, too. "Ought" can mean "desirability" as well.

Anonymous 1, Rupi's argument (using Kant) can be strong for the Aff, since it's an absolutist position: "Never treat a person merely as a means to an end." But as you point out, this locks us into some very difficult moral positions, some of which seem to jar with our moral intuitions. (Although our intuitions can be an unreliable guide, as the Trolley Problem shows.)

Anonymous 2, it's not quite that all inequality must favor the worst off, only that any inequality can only be justified insofar as the worst off are less worse off than they'd be in a more equal system. (If everybody is equally miserable, that's hardly just.) Rawlsian justice is somewhat contiguous with Kantian ethics, insofar as it rejects utilitarian notions that others can suffer for the sake of "the greater good."

Is it defensible as an Aff criterion? In capable hands, surely. But it might take too much warranting (and time) to establish. Your mileage may vary, as they say.

anon said...

I'm a novice do this my sound stupid but can I use Societal Welfare as my value and Maximizing Efficiency in regards to most gains and least losses as my standard. I used it for both cases but altered the definitions a bit to work.

Mandy said...

I know this sounds really stupid, but I'm totally new to LD debate. my value is security, but i'm not sure what my criterion could be still. it topic is states possessing nukes. (i'm aff) in the beginning i was planning protecting lives or something like that as a criterion (yeah, i suck at debate, dont judge ><) but then i realized it didn't quite make sense. any ideas? (btw this stuff is practice debate, in class. not real)