Rights, citizenship and political struggle

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


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...



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,931

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Human rights, or citizenship?Paulina Tambakaki - 2010 - New York: Birkbeck Law Press.
Human Rights.João Cardoso Rosas - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 11:93-100.
Participation: The right of rights.Jeremy Waldron - 1998 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 98 (3):307–337.
The Human Rights Protection Regulations of Shandong Province.[author unknown] - 1999 - Contemporary Chinese Thought 31 (1):93-94.
Collective Rights and Minority Rights.Seumas Miller - 2000 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 14 (2):241-257.
Mutations in Citizenship.Aihwa Ong - 2006 - Theory, Culture and Society 23 (2-3):499-505.
Democracy, citizenship and the bits in between.Sarah Fine - 2014 - In Richard Bellamy & Madeleine Kennedy-Macfoy (eds.), Citizenship. Routledge. pp. 623-640.
From human rights to sentient rights.Alasdair Cochrane - 2013 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 16 (5):655-675.
Rights as Democracy.Richard Bellamy - 2012 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 15 (4):449-471.
Toward a political conception of human rights.Kenneth Baynes - 2009 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 35 (4):371-390.


Added to PP

41 (#399,401)

6 months
12 (#243,608)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

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.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references