The Just War

From the late Harvard political philosopher, John Rawls, we get (amongst a many other great things), the idea that genuinely democratic societies can under certain conditions enter into conflict with other societies. Rawls is very careful to distinguish his arguments as founded on the relations of peoples, rather than on the relations or actions of governments, regimes or military commanders.

This brief analysis will center entirely on the arguments presented in “The Law of Peoples” (Harvard U. Press, 1999) one of Rawls’ later works which builds explicitly on his conception of justice (A Theory Of Justice, 1971) and his conception of Political Liberalism (1993) which it is worth noting at this point can not be simply taken as comprehensive liberalism, which is a doctrine that essentially pits itself against political conservatism.

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