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What Use Is John Rawls’ Theory of Justice to Public International Law?, 6 International Legal Theory 36 (2000)


For the past thirty years lawyers and
philosophers have from time to time wondered
how to apply John Rawls' Theory ofJustice to
international relations. Now John Rawls has
tried to do so himself, making the question even
more pressing for those of us who care about
international law. Rawls' own effort, and its
deficiencies, make clear that it would be a bad
idea to apply the ideas of his Theory ofJustice to
international relations. International lawyers
and statesmen should leave Rawls' books on the
shelffor philosophers.

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