Lifting the Veil of Ignorance: John Rawls’s Society of Peoples

  • Robert Jackson
Part of the Palgrave Macmillan History of International Thought Series book series (PMHIT)


John Rawls is widely regarded as one of the leading political philosophers of the twentieth century. His major works on justice and political liberalism have been translated into many languages and they are read around the world and not only the United States.1 He revitalized the social and political thought of Kant and gave it his own distinctive twist. His The Law of Peoples moves a considerable distance beyond his earlier work, which deals almost entirely with domestic justice and largely ignores international justice.2 I do not intend to review every aspect of this book.3 I shall focus on his specific notion of a “Society of Peoples” as viewed from the perspective of classical international society thinkers.4


International Relation Public Reason Political Liberalism Sovereign State Liberal Society 
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© Robert Jackson 2005

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  • Robert Jackson

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