In this paper, I explore how theorists might navigate a course between the twin dangers of piety and excess cynicism when thinking critically about state apologies, by focusing on two government apologies to indigenous peoples: namely, those made by the Australian and Canadian Prime Ministers in 2008. Both apologies are notable for several reasons: they were both issued by heads of government, and spoken on record within the space of government: the national parliaments of both countries. Furthermore, in each (...) case, the object of the apology – that which was apologized for – comes closer to disrupting the idea both countries have of themselves, and their image in the global political community, than any previous apologies made by either government. Perhaps as a result, both apologies were surrounded by celebration and controversy alike, and tracing their consequences – even in the short term – is a difficult business. We avoid excessive piety or cynicism, I argue, when we take several things into account. First, apologies have multiple functions: they narrate particular histories of wrongdoing, they express disavowal of that wrongdoing, and they commit to appropriate forms of repair or renewal. Second, the significance and the success of each function must be assessed contextually. Third, when turning to official political apologies, in particular, appropriate assessment of their capacity to disavow or to commit requires that consider apologies both as performance and as political action. While there remain significant questions regarding the practice of political apology – in particular, its relationship to practices of reparation, forgiveness and reconciliation – this approach can provide a framework with which to best consider them. (shrink)
Cosmopolitans argue that the account of human rights and distributive justice in John Rawls's The Law of Peoples is incompatible with his argument for liberal justice. Rawls should extend his account of liberal basic liberties and the guarantees of distributive justice to apply to the world at large. This essay defends Rawls's grounding of political justice in social cooperation. The Law of Peoples is drawn up to provide principles of foreign policy for liberal peoples. Human rights are (...) among the necessary conditions for social cooperation, and so long as a decent people respect human rights, a common good, and the Law of Peoples, it is not the role of liberal peoples to impose upon well-ordered decent peoples liberal liberties they cannot endorse. Moreover, the difference principle is not an allocative or alleviatory principle, but applies to design property and other basic social institutions necessary to economic production, exchange and consumption. It presupposes political cooperation—a legislative body to actively apply it, and a legal system to apply it to. There is no feasible global state or global legal system that could serve these roles. Finally, the difference principle embodies a conception of democratic reciprocity that is only appropriate to cooperation among free and equal citizens who are socially productive and politically autonomous. a Footnotesa I am grateful to K. C. Tan for many helpful discussions and criticisms of this essay. I am also grateful to the other contributors to this volume for their comments, and to Ellen Paul for her many helpful suggestions in preparing the final version of this essay. (shrink)
In this paper I reconstruct and defend John Rawls' The Law of Peoples, including the distinction between liberal and decent peoples. A “decent people” is defined as a people who possesses a comprehensive doctrine and uses that doctrine as the ground of political legitimacy, while liberal peoples do not possess a comprehensive doctrine. I argue that liberal and decent peoples are bound by the same normative requirements with the qualification that decent peoples accept the same (...) normative demands when they are reasonably interpreted and from their comprehensive doctrine, not from political liberalism. Normative standards for peoples appear in a law of peoples in two places: as internal constraints carried forward from political liberalism which regulate domestic affairs and as principles derived from a second original position that provide the normative ground for a society of peoples. This first source of normative standards was unfortunately obscured in Rawls' account. I use this model to defeat the claim that Rawls has accommodated decent peoples without sufficient warrant and to argue that all reasonable citizens of both liberal and decent peoples would accept the political authority of the state as legitimate. Although my reconstruction differs from Rawls on key points, such as modifying the idea of decency and rejecting a place for decent peoples within a second original position, overall I defend the theoretical completeness of political liberalism and show how a law of peoples provides reasonable principles of international justice. (shrink)
John Rawls argues, in The Law of Peoples , that a principle of toleration requires the international community to respect `decent hierarchical societies' that obey certain minimal human rights norms. In this article, I question that line of argument, using women's inequality as a lens. I show that Rawls's principle would require us to treat the very same practices of the very same entity differently if it happens to set up as an independent nation rather than a state within (...) a nation, and I criticize the consequences to which this asymmetry leads. I argue that Rawls gives us no good reason to think that we cannot justify a much richer set of norms for all the world's societies. I argue, however, that issues of justification should be sharply distinguished from issues of implementation, and that respect for the moral significance of national sovereignty ought to restrain us from intervention in all but the most extreme cases. Key Words: Rawls women equality international relations justice. (shrink)
In this paper, I aim to show that the arguments offered and conclusions at which Rawls aims in his book, The Law of Peoples, are telling as to the intellectual legitimacy of his larger theoretical project. To show this I first investigate how (1) non-liberal peoples fit within the limitations Rawls describes in The Law of Peoples and (2) how liberal peoples would react to such rules. I argue from the answers to these questions to the (...) further conclusion that by spreading the principles and tools of A Theory of Justice and Political Liberalism to the international realm some assumptions implicit in the earlier works come out more clearly. The final section of the paper analyzes some of the implications of the newly exposed assumptions for Rawls's project of liberal justice. (shrink)
The United Nations' (UN) adoption of a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is intended to mark a fundamental ethical turn in the relationships between indigenous peoples and the community of sovereign states. This moment is the result of decades of discussion and negotiation, largely revolving around states' discomfort with notion of indigenous self-determination. Member states of the UN have feared that an ethic of indigenous self-determination would undermine the principles of state sovereignty on which the UN (...) is itself grounded. However, such fears are the result of very poor understandings of the ethical principles under which the relations between indigenous peoples and nation-states already have been formed under centuries of European colonialism. The principle of self-determination embraced in this Declaration does not diverge from colonial norms; it entrenches these norms as international policy. Without doubt, indigenous peoples are more likely to benefit than suffer from states' observance of the Articles within this Declaration. Reducing the challenge of indigenous peoples' rights to the notion of self-determination set out in this document, though, misses an extraordinarily important opportunity to critically investigate the ethic of rights that has produced an opposition between nation-states and indigenous peoples to begin with. A true turn in the ethics of this relationship would see not simply the institution of a right to self-determination but, rather, indigenous peoples' right to first determine the nature of self for themselves. (shrink)
In The Law of Peoples John Rawls gives a list of eight principles for the law of peoples. I argue that the force of the principles depends in large part upon their being lexically ordered, and I attempt such an ordering. However, the lexically ordered list makes it clear that the duty of non-intervention obtains only after the duty to honor human rights is satisfied. Also, I point to certain “practical” difficulties with intervention on behalf of human rights. (...) Rawls writes that additional principles are needed, and I make two suggestions. I conclude that the problems arising from intervention and the need for additional principles show that the “second Original Position” is like the first Original Position: both involve, Rawls notwithstanding, the selection and ordering of principles of justice. (shrink)
The article examines Rawlss Law of Peoples as an attemptto extend the conception of public justification originallydeveloped in Political Liberalism to the internationaldomain. After briefly sketching the main elements of Rawlssconception of public justification, the article examineshow this is developed in Law of Peoples, pointingout the main differences with the domestic case. The articlethen tries to show that Rawlss justificatory strategy containsa number of inconsistencies which undermine the persuasivenessof the conception of international justice he advocates. Thisin turn can (...) be traced back to the failure fully to addressthe constituency problem facing theories ofpublic justification. (shrink)
Many philosophers have criticized John Rawls’s Law of Peoples. However, often these criticisms take it for granted that the moral conclusions drawn in A Theory of Justice are superior to those in the former book. In my view, however, Rawls comes to many of his “conclusions” without too many actual inferences. More precisely, my argument here is that if one takes Rawls’s premises and the assumptions made about the original position(s) seriously and does in fact think them through to (...) their logical conclusions, both A Theory of Justice and The Law of Peoples have abysmally counterintuitive and immoral implications. These implications comprise, among other things, the justifiability of slavery, the denial of human rights and the permissibility of genocide. (shrink)
In this article I argue that critics of John Rawls's The Law of Peoples wrongly presume that Rawls sought to offer a comprehensive theory of global justice, when he meant more minimally to respond to a specific practical problem: I concede that my reading is not uniformly supported by all aspects of the text, but The Law of Peoples is a rich and complex work that does not univocally recommend any single reading, and my construal squares with Rawls's (...) own description of the project. More importantly, my interpretation is recommended by the principle of charity, insofar as it provides Rawls with plausible responses to the commonly-voiced objections. In other words, if Rawls is understood as offering a comprehensive theory of global justice, then many of the standard criticisms appear quite damning. But if his aim is the more modest one of recommending how liberal (and decent) societies might permissibly organize their foreign policies so as to help eliminate unjust war, oppression, religious persecution and the denial of liberty of conscience, starvation, poverty, genocide and mass murder, then Rawls's book is not problematic in the ways that so many have supposed. (shrink)
: This paper analyzes the connections between sexual violence and colonialism in the lives and histories of Native peoples in the United States. This paper argues that sexual violence does not simply just occur within the process of colonialism, but that colonialism is itself structured by the logic of sexual violence. Furthermore, this logic of sexual violence continues to structure U. S. policies toward Native peoples today. Consequently, anti-sexual violence and anti-colonial struggles cannot be separated.
Resource extraction companies worldwide are involved with Indigenous peoples. Historically these interactions have been antagonistic, yet there is a growing public expectation for improved ethical performance of resource industries to engage with Indigenous peoples. (Crawley and Sinclair, Journal of Business Ethics 45, 361–373 (2003)) proposed an ethical model for human resource practices with Indigenous peoples in Australian mining companies. This paper expands on this work by re-framing the discussion within the context of sustainable development, extending it to (...) Canada, and generalizing to other resource industries. We argue that it is unethical to sacrifice the viability of Indigenous cultures for industrial resource extraction; it is ethical to engage with indigenous peoples in a manner consistent with their wishes and needs as they perceive them. We apply these ideas to a case study in the coastal temperate rainforest of Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia, Canada. In this case a scientific panel comprised of Nuu-Chah-Nulth elders, forest scientists and management professionals, achieved full consensus on developing sustainable forest practice standards by drawing equally on Indigenous traditional ecological knowledge and Western science in the context of one of the most heated and protracted environmental conflicts in Canadian history. The resulting sustainable forest practice standards were later adopted by leading forestry firms operating on the coast. Our analysis of this scientific panels success provides the basis for advancing an ethical approach to sustainable development with Indigenous peoples. This ethical approach is applicable to companies working in natural resource industries where the territories of Indigenous peoples are involved. (shrink)
John Rawls produced two versions of the law of peoples: an article, published in 1993, and a book, published in 1999. Both versions defend basic human rights as a minimum requirement of a just law of peoples. However, in an apparent effort to strengthen his defense of this requirement, the argument changed. This paper examines the apparent difficulties that forced the changes and maintains that they still do not succeed in justifying basic human rights. The source of the (...) difficulty, I argue, is Rawlss reluctance to impose liberal values on nonliberal societies, and the imposition of such values, I suggest, is unavoidable if basic human rights are to be justified. Hence, if our best attempts to justify basic human rights ultimately show that appeals to liberal values are unavoidable, then we should regard such appeals as no more of an imposition than the expectation that all societies must protect basic human rights. Even more significantly, if such appeals justify liberal freedoms that go beyond basic human rights, then arguments in support of basic human rights would also justify international efforts to advance further liberal reforms within nonliberal societies. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
The philosopher Enrique Dussel offers a critical analysis of European construction of indigenous peoples which he calls "transmodern." His theory is especially relevant to feminist and other concerns about the potential disabling effects of postmodern approaches for political action and the development of theory. Dussel divides modernity into two concurrent paradigms. Reflection on them suggests that modernism and postmodernism should not be too strongly distinguished. In conclusion, his approach is compared with that of Mohanty.
In The Law of Peoples, Rawls defends the stability of his proposed international order with the democratic peace thesis. But he fails to extend this thesis to decent peoples, which is curious, since they are a non-temporary feature of his law of peoples. This opens Rawls’s proposal to certain objections, which I argue can be met once we understand fully the nature of the democratic peace. Nevertheless, there is reason to worry about the stability of Rawls’s proposed (...) international order. This worry has little to do with decent peoples, though, and is generated by other features of his law of peoples. (shrink)
The present paper examines conventional wisdom on the subject of the justification of indigenous peoples' intellectual property rights, and offers an alternative approach. The examination is achieved by a critique of two such conventional approaches in terms of the strength of each argument employed, and in terms of the efficacy of each in the roles allotted to them. The first such argument is Stenson and Gray's application of Kymlicka's individualist theory advocating national minority autonomy. The second argument is the (...) labour entitlement theory of property acquisition, as advanced by Locke and Nozick. These theories only explain how a liberal social contract theorist would construct justifications from the outside. That this is inadequate is shown by reference to a case study involving indigenous claims against Australian law based on indigenous customary law. There, appeals are not made to abstract theory, but to tribal imperative. This observation finds sympathetic support in a reading of Hegel's philosophy of history. Hegel finds spirit in all peoples at all times. To Hegel, non-state peoples are developmentally prior to states; this means that states have developed dialectically from such peoples and cannot therefore deny them without self-contradiction. This places an onus upon a state that has subsumed an indigenous people to accommodate its laws and ways. (shrink)
The new science of genomics endeavors to chart the genomes of individuals around the world, with the dual goals of understanding the role genetic factors play in human health and solving problems of disease and disability. From the perspective of indigenous peoples and developing countries, the promises and perils of genomic science appear against a backdrop of global health disparity and political vulnerability. These conditions pose a dilemma for many communities when attempting to decide about participating in genomic research (...) or any other biomedical research. Genomic research offers the possibility of improved technologies for managing the acute and chronic diseases that plague their members. Yet, the history of particularly biomedical research among people in indigenous and developing nations offers salient examples of unethical practice, misuse of data, and failed promises. This dilemma creates risks for communities who decide either to participate or not to participate in genomic science research. Some argue that the history of poor scientific practice justifies refusal to join genomic research projects. Others argue that disease poses such great threats to the well-being of people in indigenous communities and developing nations that not participating in genomic research risks irrevocable harm. Thus, some communities particularly among indigenous peoples have declined to participate as subjects in genomic research. At the same time, some communities have begun developing new guidelines, procedures, and practices for engaging with the scientific community that offer opportunities to bridge the gap between genomic science and indigenous and/or developing communities. Four new approaches warrant special attention and further support: consulting with local communities; negotiating the complexities of consent; training members of local communities in science and health care; and training scientists to work with indigenous communities. Implicit is a new definition of “rigorous scientific research,” one that includes both community development and scientific progress as legitimate objectives of genomic research. Innovative translational research is needed to develop practical, mutually acceptable methods for crossing the divide between genomic researchers and indigenous communities. This may mean the difference between success and failure in genomic science, and in improving health for all peoples. (shrink)
This article explores aspects of law's potential for ameliorating the health deficit which Indigenous peoples experience around the globe, with a focus on international law and international legal forums. It considers the challenges and benefits of using these tools and forums to affect changes within domestic systems.
Machine generated contents note: -- Introduction -- PART I -- The Cosmopolitan Critique -- Elucidating the "Libertarian" Law of Peoples -- A Duty with No Obligations? -- PART II -- Considering the Capability Perspective -- Conceptualizing State Capability: The Freedom of Peoples -- Actualising State Capability -- PART III -- A Duty in Equilibrium -- Creeping Cosmopolitanism? -- Conclusions.
Approaching the concept of multilateral democracy -- The transnational dimension of liberal democracy -- Multilateral democracy from a republican point of view -- The conception of the people in multilateral democracy -- The rational case for multilateralism -- Multilateral democracy: the original position -- Principles of multilateral democracy -- Final remarks.
Philip Pettit’s neo-Roman republican theory of non-domination is billed as a more egalitarian alternative to classical liberal theories of non-interference. As a theory of geopolitical affairs, however, his republicanism fails to fulfill this egalitarian promise in ways that closely echo John Rawls’s liberal law of peoples. Pettit’s republican law of peoples is ill equipped to address structural sources of transnational and global domination because it exaggerates the ontological separateness of peoples, it overvalues the self-sufficiency of states for (...) purposes of achieving internal non-domination, and it conceives of domination too narrowly as an evil that must be intentionally or negligently imposed by identifiable agents. (shrink)
With case studies from North America to Australia and South Africa and covering topics from archaeological ethics to the repatriation of human remains, this book charts the development of a new form of archaeology that is informed by indigenous values and agendas. This involves fundamental changes in archaeological theory and practice as well as substantive changes in the power relations between archaeologists and indigenous peoples. Questions concerning the development of ethical archaeological practices are at the heart of this process.