Politics, Philosophy and Economics 4 (3):275-299 (2005)

Authors
Blain Neufeld
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Abstract
One prominent criticism of John Rawls’s The Law of Peoples is that it treats certain non-liberal societies, what Rawls calls ‘decent hierarchical societies’, as equal participants in a just international system. Rawls claims that these non-liberal societies should be respected as equals by liberal democratic societies, even though they do not grant their citizens the basic rights of democratic citizenship. This is presented by Rawls as a consequence of liberalism’s commitment to the principle of toleration. A number of critics have claimed that Rawls’s treatment of these non-liberal societies is symptomatic of a more general problem with political liberalism, namely, its reliance on toleration as its ‘fundamental principle’. Against this view, I argue that the principle of toleration should not be understood as political liberalism’s ‘fundamental principle’. This is revealed through a consideration of the normative basis of what Rawls calls the ‘Liberal Principle of Legitimacy’. A correct understanding of political liberalism’s ‘fundamental principle’, which I claim is a principle of equal ‘civic respect’ for citizens, shows that Rawls’s toleration of non-liberal societies is in fact a misapplication of political liberalism to the global domain. Moreover, I explain that political liberalism must assert that the principle of equal civic respect for citizens is the correct principle to govern the public political relations of citizens in all pluralist societies, and that most ‘decent hierarchical societies’ are pluralist in nature. Identifying political liberalism’s fundamental principle as that of equal civic respect for citizens helps to render political liberalism, in both the domestic and international domains, a more coherent and compelling approach to thinking about fundamental political issues. Key Words: civic respect • international relations • justice • political liberalism • Rawls • toleration.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/1470594X05056603
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 54,431
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Justice as Fairness: Political Not Metaphysical.John Rawls - 1985 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 14 (3):223-251.
Two Kinds of Respect.Stephen Darwall - 1977 - Ethics 88 (1):36-49.
Reply to Habermas.John Rawls - 1995 - Journal of Philosophy 92 (3):132-180.
Women and the Law of Peoples.Martha Nussbaum - 2002 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 1 (3):283-306.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Shared Intentions, Public Reason, and Political Autonomy.Blain Neufeld - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (6):776-804.
Civic Respect, Civic Education, and the Family.Blain Neufeld & Gordon Davis - 2010 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 42 (1):94-111.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Civic Respect, Civic Education, and the Family.Blain Neufeld & Gordon Davis - 2010 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 42 (1):94-111.
Rawls on Pluralism and Stability.Robert B. Talisse - 2000 - Critical Review 15 (1-2):173-194.
What is Reasonableness?James W. Boettcher - 2004 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 30 (5-6):597-621.
Rawls, Reasonableness, and International Toleration.Thomas Porter - 2012 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 11 (4):382-414.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
81 ( #119,266 of 2,371,809 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #557,530 of 2,371,809 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes