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Group Rights and Group Oppression

Group Rights and Group Oppression or much of this century, political philosophy has regarded the proposition that groups can hold rights with a mixture of scepticism and suspicion. In recent years, however, that proposition has been received more favourably. In part this revival in the fortunes of group rights has stemmed from a resigned acceptance that some longstanding and widely espoused rights, such as rights of national self-determination or rights to other forms of collective autonomy, cannot be convincingly disaggregated into the rights of individuals. It has also stemmed from new worries about the fate of ethnic and cultural minorities and from doubts about whether the concern and respect due to those minorities can be adequately secured merely by ascribing rights to their members individually. If a group enjoys a distinct mode of life and if that mode of life takes a collective form, perhaps our moral recognition of that mode of life has to be directed towards the group collectively rather than to its members severally. If we choose to express our concern for the group and its form of life in the language of rights, perhaps those have to be rights that we ascribe to the group qua group rather than http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Political Philosophy Wiley

Group Rights and Group Oppression

The Journal of Political Philosophy , Volume 7 (4) – Dec 1, 1999

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Blackwell Publishers Ltd 1999
ISSN
0963-8016
eISSN
1467-9760
DOI
10.1111/1467-9760.00081
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

or much of this century, political philosophy has regarded the proposition that groups can hold rights with a mixture of scepticism and suspicion. In recent years, however, that proposition has been received more favourably. In part this revival in the fortunes of group rights has stemmed from a resigned acceptance that some longstanding and widely espoused rights, such as rights of national self-determination or rights to other forms of collective autonomy, cannot be convincingly disaggregated into the rights of individuals. It has also stemmed from new worries about the fate of ethnic and cultural minorities and from doubts about whether the concern and respect due to those minorities can be adequately secured merely by ascribing rights to their members individually. If a group enjoys a distinct mode of life and if that mode of life takes a collective form, perhaps our moral recognition of that mode of life has to be directed towards the group collectively rather than to its members severally. If we choose to express our concern for the group and its form of life in the language of rights, perhaps those have to be rights that we ascribe to the group qua group rather than

Journal

The Journal of Political PhilosophyWiley

Published: Dec 1, 1999

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