Contributions that Political Theory has for International Relations

Contributions that Political Theory has for International Relations

Introduction and Thesis Statement

In his work, The Law of Peoples, Rawls extends a contractualist domestic justice theory in explaining the functioning of the international community. Rawls’ primary interest is determining the policies that govern a profuse democracy? The insights offered by Rawls are of great aid as globalization and integration have led to increased international contacts.  While this trend has led to increased contact levels, there are also other emergent issues such as dealing with refugees and terrorism.  In his work, Rawls infers that there are different causes of immigration although he is holding the position that those elements have continued to make migration a challenging endeavor. However, the complex and dynamic political landscape makes it’s necessary to have clear guidelines on immigration. Nationalism, foreign policies and politics have an expansive influence on the treatment of refugees at the global level, therefore making it critical to analyze global politics.

Literature Review

Different scholars argue that Rawls ignored both immigration and the concerns of transnational justice. The limitation in Rawls’ work is attributed to the defective analysis of peoples as his explanation/ concept can neither be salvaged normatively nor empirically. The argument is based on the fact that Rawls centers his work and ideologies on social science which is viewed as being poor. The contradiction with Rawlsian liberalism politics such as the values of individual autonomies makes it normatively unacceptable. When analyzed, Rawls’ on people contradicts both the Kantian heritage of liberal cosmopolitan and courts liberal nationalism. These contradictions form the basis of rejecting Rawls’s work by many scholars. Rawls employs the society model as a convenient thought experience to explain counterfactual fiction in justice reasoning. However, the failure to grant entry and exit conditions into the political community, the main role in a liberal-democratic justice theory, he assumes that there is a state-centric model of territorially bordered countries. He also assumes that with well-guarded and fairly closed limits, it is possible to govern the thinking capacity of a reader in these issues.

The Law of Peoples offers a highlight of the reason why Rawls chose a state-centric perspective in thinking about global justice was clearly. Moreover, in choosing confined political communities and particularly the modern nation-state, as the applicable unit for developing conceptions of international and domestic justice, Rawls was significantly departing from the teaching of Immanuel Kant about the cosmopolitan law. If the major advance of Kant was to articulate justice relations which were valid for all considered individuals as moral individuals in the international arena, unconventionally of their political membership, in The Law of People, individuals are submerged into units which he names them as “peoples” but not the principal justice agents.

The principle of is cosmopolitan by Kant act as the thesis that all moral individuals were the world-society members in which they could potentially interact with each other. By contrast, Rawls does not see individuals as cosmopolitan citizens but sees them as members of ‘peoples.’

There have been substantial debates to as why Rawls used peoples in developing an international justice view from the perspective of peoples. These procedural beginnings allow him to articulate international justice principles not for people deliberated as units of equal moral concern and respect in a global society but for individuals and their representatives. Nonetheless, the cogency of the definition of Rawls of people is doubtful.  Focusing on Rawl’s assumptions about people can thus assist in clarifying why he chose to bound communities that they are the advantaged units of ideal global justice theory whereas migratory movements which are challenging this bounded vision become issues for non-ideal theory.

After reading the first and the second part of The law of People, it is evident that work largely appeals to global justice theorists. Theorists of global justice such Charles Beitz and Thomas Pogge went much further than Rawls in beseeching for justice across borders. Contrary to the position taken by Rawls, they went a step further and included the migratory movements under international distributive justice. While Rawls make critical contributions to understanding international relations, I am of the view that the principle used by Rawls isn’t adequate in helping us to think through the issues of transnational justice. My position is influenced by the fact that the inclusion of “just membership” principles is equally important to cosmopolitan justice.

Exploring the Thesis

The research regarding a common theory of international relations has instituted a lot of discussions on the nature of theories as well as the challenges of applying those theories to the phenomenon of international relations. The current debate on ethics and migration is to highly informed by the thinking of Rawlsian. However, the ideas that Rawls had placed forward on this topic are discussed rarely. One of the reasons for this is because of his work on The Law of People which has an explicit exclusion of all questions that are associated with migratory movements. Therefore, this paper finds it more closely at his work regarding foreign relations of liberal democracy since it is concerned with ethical and moral challenges migration brings on the table. Furthermore, the paper also criticizes what Rawls brought forward concerning the considerable arguments on these issues.

Evidence and Results (the USA to Venezuela)

Venezuela, in its history, is now suffering the worst economic crisis. The ordinary people in this country are regularly starving. Supermarkets are turning out to be empty, while hungry and angry citizens tend to ransack them. Food has to be transported under armed guards to their respective destination because of the threat of theft. The government has affirmed a state of emergency for the country, and necessities now have been rationed. Recent reports have indicated that individuals are queuing for long hours and even overnight on their assigned days so that they can receive staples like cooking oil and rice. The IMF figures for this country indicate that it has the worst inflation rate of 482%.

Moreover, it has a negative growth rate of (-8%). Besides, the rate of unemployment is at 17%, but in the coming years, it is anticipated to rise to over 30%. Criminality, the spread of unrest, the desperation of people, and the shadow of hunger is what is threatening the government of Nicolas Maduro few years after he got power from Hugo Chavez, the dying revolutionary strongman.

The United States has announced that they are planning to come up with the possible sanctions damage against President Nicolas Maduro’s government, the oil sector, and the state company PDVSA. The new sanctions will hurt those sectors which are responsible for more than 94% of the revenue of the government. The new phase in Venezuela’s crisis started the period when the US acknowledged Juan Guaido, the opposition leader, as the legitimate head of state for the country. The USA is trying to make revenues from oil bypass Maduro’s government to directly reach ordinary Venezuelans. The sanctions are meant to lead new elections in Venezuela and oust Maduro.

I support the US’s idea of placing sanctions against president Maduro. According to my views, I feel it will help to improve the economic crisis that Venezuela is experiencing. I believe that it is because of Maduro’s government that Venezuela people are experiencing hardships and problems. It is the responsibility of any government to take care of its citizens. Therefore, I believe that Maduro’s government is not doing its responsibilities and it has failed the country. The fact that Maduro is not supposed to be the right president for Venezuela also raises issues. This means that Venezuelans did not elect Venezuelanshim and that he might be lacking rightful leadership skills to govern the country. This implies that if he is removed from office and the right candidate, Guaido, who was supposed to be the president, is made to rule people; it will be beneficial for the country.


In conclusion, from the above analysis that looks at past experiences of the US with Latin America countries, the United States had been providing foreign assistance to those countries in supporting their developments. Currently, most of the countries are stable and in good relation. Moreover, the Latin American countries together with the USA have signed a Monroe Doctrine (1823), a foreign policy which excludes or limits the economic and military influence of European powers, expansion of territories, and encourages American commerce.