Rawlsian Compromises in Peacebuilding? Response to Agafonow

Public Reason 2 (2):51-60 (2010)
This paper responds to recent criticism from Alejandro Agafonow. In section I, I argue that the dilemma that Agafonow points to – while real – is in no way unique to liberal peacebuilding. Rather, it arises with respect to any foreign involvement in post-conflict reconstruction. I argue further that Agafonow’s proposal for handling this dilemma suffers from several shortcomings: first, it provides no sense of the magnitude and severity of the “oppressive practices” that peacebuilders should be willing to institutionalize. Second, it provides no sense of a time frame within which we can hope that endogenous liberalization should emerge in the local political culture. Finally, it provides no suggestion for what the international community should do if the desired liberalization should fail to materialize within that time frame. In section II, I show that Agafonow’s argument resonates poorly with the concepts and ideas that he claims to adopt from Rawls’s Political Liberalism. Instead, his argument evokes the guiding ideas behind Rawls’s later work The Law of Peoples. I offer a critical perspective on these ideas, focusing specifically on Rawls’s treatment of women’s rights. Section III applies this critical perspective to Agafonow’s arguments, before closing with an example of a more constructive and empirically informed approach that critical studies of post-conflict reconstruction could take.
Keywords liberal peace  human security  women's rights  political liberalism  post-conflict reconstruction  John Rawls  peacebuilding
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 22,720
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
David Shaw (2011). Justice and the Fetus: Rawls, Children and Abortion. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 20 (1):93-101.
Seth Lazar (2012). Scepticism About Jus Post Bellum. In Larry May & Andrew Forcehimes (eds.), Morality, Jus Post Bellum, and International Law. Cambridge University Press
James Boettcher (2004). What is Reasonableness? Philosophy and Social Criticism 30 (5-6):597-621.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

36 ( #121,389 of 1,937,395 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

13 ( #41,110 of 1,937,395 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.