The works of John Rawls manifest a deep concern with developing a stable, well-ordered society that is built on a reciprocal understanding of justice. In Rawlsian thought, however, the very forms of power that Rawls seeks to ameliorate are recreated in more pernicious forms, as they are ubiquitous, rather than localized in the person of a sovereign. This work explores the impact of power operations on the person in political space in Rawls thought through the works of contemporarian and post-modern theorists. In doing so, it not only offers a critique of the operations of power in Rawls' well-ordered society it further seeks to hinge political understandings on open political spaces in contemporary thought. By doing so, this paper offers a counterweight to the notions of society and citizen found in the ideal thought of John Rawls.
Date of publication
Bundy, Rheuben, "Disembodied Sovereignty: Power and Personhood in Rawlsian Liberalism" (2013). Political Science Theses. Paper 1.