Political Liberalism Abroad

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This paper was discussed at the Global Justice workshop on January 19, 2007.

Excerpt from pages 2 through 3 of Michael Blake's "Political Liberalism Abroad":

Whereas Rawls himself emphasizes political liberalism's notions of reciprocity and tolerance in his extension to the international realm, we might instead emphasize political liberalism's commitment to the justification of political coercion to all individuals subject to such coercion. The result, I believe, is an attractive vision of how a liberal state might understand the normative constraints on its actions abroad. This vision of political liberalism will not privilege agreement between collective groups such as peoples, but rather demand that political communities seek to justify their domestic actions through appeal to the moral categories implicit in political liberalism itself. The specific package of international rights and duties thereby produced, I believe, will be quite unlike those developed in The Law of Peoples, but might nonetheless stand as a plausible and attractive vision of how liberalism might be applied internationally.

About the Author

Michael Blake is associate professor of philosophy and public affairs at the University of Washington. He received his bachelor's degree in philosophy and economics from the University of Toronto, and his legal training at Yale Law School. He specializes in social and political philosophy, philosophy of law, and international ethics.

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