chapter  27
4 Pages

Exploring Dilemmas: using hard choices to put history in context

Pupils are encouraged to explore the difference between negotiated outcomes and ‘just’ outcomes by roleplaying the scenarios envisaged in the Rawlsian ‘veil of ignorance’ metaphor. This exercise employs the metaphor developed by John Rawls to highlight the distinction between what is politically possible and what would be desirable in a perfect outcome. Again, rather than describing the concepts, individuals are encouraged to act out Rawlsian games to provoke discussion of their implications. The game could be used to illustrate the dilemmas facing actors involved in domestic public policy-making or to highlight the tensions between negotiated conventions and normative justice in international history.