John Rawls' The Law of Peoples (LP) represents a culmination of his reflections on how we might reasonably and peacefully live together in a just world. 6 My aim in this chapter is to show that a theory of global justice can be developed that is more in keeping with the Kantian constructivist procedures Rawls once employed for domestic justice in Political Liberalism and A Theory of Justice. 7 This result is important because it helps establish that my alternative conception of global justice better realises some fundamental liberal values, even on Rawls' own terms.
Rawls has a strong hold on the imaginations of political theorists, but that is not the main reason I have adopted the approach of reading and responding to his work so closely. Rather, it seems to me that his later work at once exemplifies the orthodoxy of 'liberal statism' that dominates the field and, along with his earlier work, contains powerful conceptual resources for overcoming that inconsistent and pernicious orthodoxy.
My core argument is that Rawls has begged some of the central questions of global justice by adopting at the outset a 'thin statist' conception of the legitimate divisions between persons who share a world. Once this ungrounded assumption is removed, the nature and