Rawls in the Nordic Countries

Andreas Follesdal

University of Oslo; University of Oslo - Norwegian Centre for Human Rights; Pluricourts

January 31, 2011

Rawls in Europe – Special Issue of European Journal of Political Theory, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 181-98, 2011

The impact of Rawls’s work in the Nordic countries has been larger than was expected. Section 1 identifies some legal, political, and cultural features that would lead us to expect little interest in Rawls’s work: Scandinavian Legal Realism, the Social Democratic Welfare state regimes, and pervasive ethnic and cultural homogeneity. Section 2 gives an overview of the reception of Rawls’s work, both in the academy and in public fora, on the basis of extensive but not exhaustive searches. Section 3 offers some conclusions and speculates that Rawls’s contributions – and political philosophy in general – will increase, largely due to Europeanisation. Appendix 1 provides bibliographical information about first translations and presentations of Rawls’s work starting with the 1955 article “Two Concepts of Rules”. Appendix 2 lists appeals to Rawls’s work in the academy and the public sphere, ranging from the substantive principles of Justice as Fairness stated in 1971 through the Law of Peoples (1999). Neither appendix claims to give exhaustive accounts.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 17

Keywords: Rawls, Nordic Countries, Welfare State, Political Philosophy, Europeanisation

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Date posted: February 1, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Follesdal, Andreas, Rawls in the Nordic Countries (January 31, 2011). Rawls in Europe – Special Issue of European Journal of Political Theory, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 181-98, 2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1752183

Contact Information

Andreas Follesdal (Contact Author)
University of Oslo ( email )
PO Box 6706 St Olavs plass
Oslo, N-0317
University of Oslo - Norwegian Centre for Human Rights ( email )
Oslo, 0130
Pluricourts ( email )
P.O. Box 6706
St. Olavs plass 5
0130 Oslo

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