Francesca Pasquali

Which rights are genuine rights? A comparison between social and civil rights

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Social Rights; Civil Rights; Rights Violations; Autonomy; Welfare.

Whether social rights are genuine rights and whether they enjoy the same status as civil rights are controversial questions. As the essay suggests, rather than through conceptual and definitional arguments, similar questions should be addressed by investigating the normative implications of endorsing or, alternatively, rejecting the parity between social and civil rights. References to how they conceive individuals - as autonomous agents or as primarily characterized by needs and interests - enable to comparatively assess the contending positions. As the comparison shows, the position attributing priority to civil rights proves more convincing: it does not equate violations of civil rights and violations of social rights and it assigns rights with an intrinsic value, thus better vindicating their special normative force. The essay clarifies that this conclusion does not imply denying the value of the goods ordinarily guaranteed through social rights, which can be better and more fairly granted, as the essay contends, by a theory of justice focusing on redistributive duties, rather than by a theory of rights.

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