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.
Peoples or Persons? Revising Rawls on Global Justice,
B.C. Int'l & Comp. L. Rev.