Global justice after the fall Christian realism and the “law of peoples”

Journal of Religious Ethics 33 (4):783-814 (2005)
In "The Law of Peoples" John Rawls casts his proposals as an argument against what he calls "political realism." Here, I contend that a certain version of "Christian political realism" survives Rawls's polemic against political realism sans phrase and that Rawls overstates his case against political realism writ large. Specifically, I argue that Rawls's dismissal of "empirical political realism" is underdetermined by the evidence he marshals in support of the dismissal and that his rejection of "normative political realism" is in tension with his own normative concessions to political reality as expressed in "The Law of Peoples." That is, I contend that Rawls, himself, needs some form of political realism to render persuasive the full range of normative claims constituting the argument of that work
Keywords economic justice  democratic peace  Reinhold Niebuhr  Rawls  Christian realism  just war  toleration  international ethics  political realism  justice
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