This article explores the Pragmatist and Rawlsian forms of cosmopolitanism that have emerged in recent decades in efforts to extend theories of justice to the global level. The Pragmatist approach is critical and problem-centred, using an account of the problematic situation and a reconstruction of inherited ideals to develop normative theories for action in a specific political context. The Rawlsian approach is abstract and systemic, deducing ideal institutional principles from thought experiments that require later implementation in the non-ideal world. The main argument of the article is that Pragmatists employ three methodological elements that give them important practical advantages over Rawlsians in providing action-guiding norms. First, a detailed account of the problem of injustice provides an indispensable empirical grounding that frames normative responses. Second, a critical reconstruction of the normative vocabulary relating to the problem ensures that the ideals used to guide action are historically relevant to the community of action. And finally, an account of normative theories in terms of their concrete requirements and means of realisation in the particular situation ensures they are attuned to its political constraints and possibilities for change.