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ABSTRACT|Rawls’s focus on the justice of the basic structure of society is well known. Less widely recognized is his belief that his theory should be conceived of as part of a larger project that would include principles of local justice and principles of international justice. This paper aims to illuminate the relationship among political, local, and international (or global) principles of justice by considering the problem of “modern justice” as it emerged in the work of Hobbes, Locke, and especially Kant. This provides a partial explanation for Rawls’s insistence on the special priority of political justice, but also allows a reply to critics who claim that the same principles that apply to the domestic political domain should also apply to local interactions (e.g. G. A. Cohen) and to global relations (e.g. Rawls’s cosmopolitan critics).
BIO|Jon Mandle is a professor in the Philosophy Department at the University at Albany (State University of New York). His primary interests are in contemporary political philosophy and ethics as well as their history. He is the author of three books and is a co-editor of three collections on Rawls. In addition to his work on Rawls, he has published articles on Rousseau, Kant, meta-ethics, global justice, and other topics. In 2015, he was a visiting expert at Shandong University in Jinan, China.