Rights, citizenship and political struggle

European Journal of Political Theory 17 (1):1474885115578052 (2018)
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Abstract

This paper adds a new perspective to recent debates about the political nature of rights through attention to their distinctive role within social movement practices of moral critique and social struggle. The paper proceeds through a critical examination of the Political Constitutionalist theories of rights politics proposed by Jeremy Waldron and Richard Bellamy. While political constitutionalists are correct to argue that rights are ‘contestable’ and require democratic justification, they construe political activity almost exclusively with reference to voting, parties and parliamentary law-making, neglecting the vital role rights play in political struggle outside and against the official institutions of democratic citizenship. In contrast to the political constitutionalist stress on the patient and reciprocal negotiation of rights within formal electoral processes, this paper locates the political nature of rights in their conflictual logic as ‘claims’ in multiple spheres that function to mobilise oppos...

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Guy Aitchison
University College London

Citations of this work

Civil Disobedience.Candice Delmas - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (11):681-691.
Civic virtue in non-ideal republics.M. Victoria Costa - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy.
Rethinking moral claim rights.Laura Valentini - 2023 - Journal of Political Philosophy 31 (4):433-451.

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