In the Shadow of Justice: Postwar Liberalism and the Remaking of Political Philosophy

In the Shadow of Justice: Postwar Liberalism and the Remaking of Political Philosophy

by Katrina Forrester

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A history of how political philosophy was recast by the rise of postwar liberalism and irrevocably changed by John Rawls’s A Theory of Justice

In the Shadow of Justice tells the story of how liberal political philosophy was transformed in the second half of the twentieth century under the influence of John Rawls. In this first-ever history of contemporary liberal theory, Katrina Forrester shows how liberal egalitarianism—a set of ideas about justice, equality, obligation, and the state—became dominant, and traces its emergence from the political and ideological context of the postwar United States and Britain.

In the aftermath of the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War, Rawls’s A Theory of Justice made a particular kind of liberalism essential to political philosophy. Using archival sources, Forrester explores the ascent and legacy of this form of liberalism by examining its origins in midcentury debates among American antistatists and British egalitarians. She traces the roots of contemporary theories of justice and inequality, civil disobedience, just war, global and intergenerational justice, and population ethics in the 1960s and ’70s and beyond. In these years, political philosophers extended, developed, and reshaped this liberalism as they responded to challenges and alternatives on the left and right—from the New International Economic Order to the rise of the New Right. These thinkers remade political philosophy in ways that influenced not only their own trajectory but also that of their critics.

Recasting the history of late twentieth-century political thought and providing novel interpretations and fresh perspectives on major political philosophers, In the Shadow of Justice offers a rigorous look at liberalism’s ambitions and limits.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691189420
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 09/24/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 1,004,325
File size: 790 KB

About the Author

Katrina Forrester is assistant professor of government and social studies at Harvard University. She is the coeditor of Nature, Action, and the Future. Her writing has appeared in the New Yorker, the London Review of Books, the Nation, the Guardian, Dissent, the New Statesman, n+1, and Harper’s. Twitter @katforrester

Table of Contents

Preface ix

1 The Making of Justice 1

2 Obligations 40

3 War and Responsibility 72

4 The New Egalitarians 104

5 Going Global 140

6 The Problem of the Future 172

7 New Right and Left 204

8 The Limits of Philosophy 239

Epilogue 270

Acknowledgments 281

Notes 285

Index 369

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From the Publisher

"In the Shadow of Justice is a splendid reconstruction of the intellectual roots of liberal egalitarianism. But it is also so much more. Forrester tells a subtle story of how liberal politics and ideology both enabled and constrained the quest for justice in postwar thought. She has given us one of the very best books on Rawls, and an exquisite model of how to engage with normative political theory to understand the times in which we live."—Lea Ypi, author of Global Justice and Avant-Garde Political Agency

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