Rawls And Egypt

Nathan J. Brown connects the two:

The country was experiencing what might be called a “Rawlsian moment.” Before his death in 2002, American political philosopher John Rawls had made a name for himself 114841235 leading a couple generations of scholars in exploring ways to assess and maintain the justice of a political order. His basic approach included an invitation to imagine what sort of system people in a society might construct if they did not know in advance what their position would be in it. Rawls never envisioned this “veil of ignorance” as something that was actually possible; imagining such an abstract deliberation among people writing rules under such circumstances was simply a good way of assessing whether the rules in place were fair or not.

But in February and March, Egyptians seemed actually to be living in a Rawlsian environment. Nobody knew who the relevant political actors would be, what shape their platforms would take, or how strong they would be electorally. Of course, general tendencies could be discerned, but when Egyptians argued about questions of constitutional design, the political scene was so unclear they could put abstract principles above partisan interest.

Brown uses this device as a starting point to discuss the state of constitutional deliberation in Cairo.