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John Rawls's The Law of Peoples offers an account of international justice grounded in a hypothetical contract between "peoples." I argue that a model of transnational justice rooted in a hypothetical agreement among deliberators representing individual persons-like the one that provides the basis for Rawls's account of domestic justice-would be preferable. In Part I, I focus on Rawls's idea of a "people" before critiquing his almost non-existent argument for beginning with peoples rather than persons. In Part II, I examine the nature of the human rights protections that follow from Rawls's starting point and the appropriate responses of liberal societies to violations of these protections. In Part III, I explore and criticize Rawls's perspectives on international economic aid and the rules of warfare.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
6 Sep 2022
8.16 MB



  • Subject
    • Human Rights Law

    • International Law

  • Journal title
    • Boston College International and Comparative Law Review

  • Volume
    • 27

  • Issue
    • 1

  • Pagination
    • 1

  • Date submitted

    6 September 2022