Public Reason: Vol. 2, No. 1, June 2010
Human Security and Liberal Peace – Some Rawlsian Considerations
Alejandro Agafonow

The aim of this article is to contend that, in opposition to Begby’s and Burgess’ argument, the idea of human security is not able to deal with the potential conflict between individuals’ and communities’ claims, unless it is properly qualified by political liberalism. We sustain that it can be expected that negotiations, on behalf of different idiosyncrasies, can reach an overlapping consensus that privileges community security over personal security, institutionalizing what, from a liberal viewpoint, are oppressive practices. Then, liberal peacebuilders have to decide on the kind of incomplete overlapping consensus that would be tolerable; yet, in doing so, they have to be careful not to close the door to enable liberalism to thrive in more traditional societies which, after a long process of experimentation with democratic deliberation, may finally span the core of consensus in order to include sensitive matters.

Key words: human security, community security, personal security, liberal peace, Rawls.


Agafonow, Alejandro. 2010. Human Security and Liberal Peace – Some Rawlsian Considerations. Public Reason 2 (1): 77-84.