Encyclopedia of Global Justice

2011 Edition
| Editors: Deen K. Chatterjee

Law of Peoples

  • Alyssa R. Bernstein
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_312

In The Law of Peoples, John Rawls (1999) establishes a theoretical framework for developing the content of the basic principles and norms of a reasonably just international order, and uses it to argue for limited state sovereignty, universal basic human rights, and an international duty of assistance. Noting that international law has tended, since World War II, both to limit a state’s right to wage war and to restrict a state’s right of internal sovereignty, Rawls says that one of his aims is to give these two basic changes in international law a suitable rationale. Holding that it is in some cases permissible for states to exert international pressure or force to defend human rights, Rawls aims also to determine a meaning for the term “human rights” that is clear and appropriate for international law. Further, Rawls aims to establish the principle that well-ordered societies have a duty to assist “burdened” societies, which are unable to secure the basic human rights of their...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alyssa R. Bernstein
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyOhio UniversityAthensUSA