When liberal peoples turn into outlaw states: John Rawls’Law of Peoplesand liberal nuclearism


Authors
Thomas Doyle
Texas State University
Abstract
John Rawls’ account in Law of Peoples of a realist utopia composed of a society of liberal and decent peoples is a stark contrast to his description of “outlaw states,” which seek to undermine the legal and moral frameworks that constitute a pacific global order. Rawls argues that outlaw states cannot conceive of political accommodation with their external enemies; instead, they opt for the rule of force, terror, and brutality. Rawls even urges that liberal peoples are justified in maintaining a nuclear deterrent to prevent outlaw states from obtaining and then using nuclear weapons on liberal societies if the opportunity arose. This article examines the paradoxical question of liberal societies that, in the name of opposing outlaw states, undertake security policies which correspond to “outlaw” statist behavior. It then explores the implications of liberal roguishness for the legitimacy of liberal international security arrangements, such as the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Regime.
Keywords John Rawls  liberal nuclearism  nuclear ethics
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DOI 10.1177/1755088215571648
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References found in this work BETA

Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
Philosophical investigations.Ludwig Wittgenstein & G. E. M. Anscombe - 1953 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 161:124-124.
The Law of Peoples.John Rawls - 1993 - Critical Inquiry 20 (1):36-68.

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