Rawls and Political Realism: Realistic Utopianism or Judgement in Bad Faith?

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Political realism criticises the putative abstraction, foundationalism and neglect of the agonistic dimension of political practice in the work of John Rawls. This paper argues that had Rawls not fully specified the implementation of his theory of justice in one particular form of political economy then he would be vulnerable to a realist critique. But he did present such an implementation: a property-owning democracy. An appreciation of Rawls s specificationist method undercuts the realist critique of his conception of justice as fairness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-324
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of Political Theory
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2015

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