John Rawls: Eurosceptic? European Integration as a Realistic Utopia

17 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2008


In a series of posthumously published letters with the Belgian political philosopher Philippe Van Parijs, John Rawls reveals himself to be something of a Eurosceptic. Interestingly, Rawls's Euroscepticism reflects a line of argument that was popular on the left in Britain in the 1970s and which re-emerged (albeit in a slightly different form) on the left in France at the time of the Constitutional Referendum in 2005: namely, that European integration works to the advantages of businessmen and disadvantages the least well off. This paper examines John Rawls's skeptical position on European political integration. The paper argues that despite Rawls's own skepticism, a case can be made that European Integration constitutes, what he could endorse as, a realistic utopia.

Keywords: John Rawls, Philippe Van Parijs, Justice, Globalization, Fair Trade, European Union, European Integration, European Enlargement

Suggested Citation

Morgan, Glyn, John Rawls: Eurosceptic? European Integration as a Realistic Utopia. Available at SSRN: or

Glyn Morgan (Contact Author)

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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