Harvard University: Liberalism vs. Nationalism in Rawls

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The Program on Constitutional Government: “Liberalism vs. Nationalism in Rawls”


The Program on Constitutional Government at Harvard, a JMC partner program, will host JMC postdoctoral fellow Daniel Fram for a colloquium on John Rawls’s views of liberalism and nationalism.

Click here to read the paper for the seminar >>

Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override … It does not allow that the sacrifices imposed on a few are outweighed by the larger sum of advantages enjoyed by many (Rawls 1971, 3).

Can a supreme emergency be constituted by a particular threat –by a threat of enslavement or extermination directed against a single nation? Can soldiers and statesmen override the rights of innocent people for the sake of their own political community? I am inclined to answer this question affirmatively, though not without hesitation and worry. What choice do they have? They might sacrifice themselves in order to uphold the moral law, but they cannot sacrifice their countrymen. (Walzer 1977).

Thursday, December 5, 2019 • 4:00 PM
CGIS North (Knafel), Room, K-108 • Harvard University

RSVP to attend: pcg@gov.harvard.edu (Andy Zwick, Executive Director)

Click here to learn more about the Program on Constitutional Government >>



Daniel Fram is the 2019-20 JMC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Program on Constitutional Government at Harvard University. He received a Master’s degree in Political Theory from Boston College and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 2018. His primary research interests have centered on the moral theories of 18th century Enlightenment political thinkers such as Adam Smith, Rousseau, Hume, and Kant. Thematically, he is interested in the moral foundations of liberalism, including its conception of the person and the human good,  and the relationship between political and moral goods.

Fram is a JMC postdoctoral fellow.

Learn more about Daniel Fram >>



The Program on Constitutional Government at Harvard University was founded in 1985 by Harvey Mansfield and William Kristol, and has been guided since then by Mansfield and R. Shep Melnick of Boston College. The Program promotes the study of the U.S. Constitution and its principles, combining the fields of political theory and American government. It brings visiting professors to Harvard, invites guest speakers, and supports postdoctoral fellowships. The Program also seeks to improve the access of Harvard students to political debate by ensuring that the principle of diversity is not confined to favored classes of Americans, but extended to political opinion, since it is the interest of all that both sides be heard.

Learn more about the Program on Constitutional Government >>



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