Rawlsian Compromises in Peacebuilding? Response to Agafonow

Public Reason 2 (2):51-60 (2010)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This paper responds to recent criticism from Alejandro Agafonow. In section I, I argue that the dilemma that Agafonow points to – while real – is in no way unique to liberal peacebuilding. Rather, it arises with respect to any foreign involvement in post-conflict reconstruction. I argue further that Agafonow’s proposal for handling this dilemma suffers from several shortcomings: first, it provides no sense of the magnitude and severity of the “oppressive practices” that peacebuilders should be willing to institutionalize. Second, it provides no sense of a time frame within which we can hope that endogenous liberalization should emerge in the local political culture. Finally, it provides no suggestion for what the international community should do if the desired liberalization should fail to materialize within that time frame. In section II, I show that Agafonow’s argument resonates poorly with the concepts and ideas that he claims to adopt from Rawls’s Political Liberalism. Instead, his argument evokes the guiding ideas behind Rawls’s later work The Law of Peoples. I offer a critical perspective on these ideas, focusing specifically on Rawls’s treatment of women’s rights. Section III applies this critical perspective to Agafonow’s arguments, before closing with an example of a more constructive and empirically informed approach that critical studies of post-conflict reconstruction could take.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,139

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Human Security and Liberal Peace.Endre Begby & J. Peter Burgess - 2009 - Public Reason 1 (1):91-104.
Civic respect, political liberalism, and non-liberal societies.Blain Neufeld - 2005 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 4 (3):275-299.
Political liberalism, basic liberties, and legal paternalism.William Glod - 2010 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 48 (2):177-196.
Skepticism about Jus Post Bellum.Seth Lazar - 2012 - In Larry May & Andrew Forcehimes (eds.), Morality, Jus Post Bellum, and International Law. Cambridge University Press. pp. 204-222.
What is reasonableness?James W. Boettcher - 2004 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 30 (5-6):597-621.
The separateness of persons and liberal theory.Matt Zwolinski - 2008 - Journal of Value Inquiry 42 (2):147-165.


Added to PP

87 (#185,988)

6 months
11 (#170,645)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Endre Begby
Simon Fraser University

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references