HREQ 2010 Lecture November 18.docx

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November 18th, 2013
HREQ 2010: Lecture Notes- Citizenship and Human Rights: Andrew Vincent
The nation state is at the centre of any debate of human rights
We cannot discuss human rights if we do not look at modern nation states
The problem with that is, the nation state by nature, to become exclusionary, racist, and
for that reason, the modern nation state as we know it, embodies potential for genocide
What is citizenship: In Western cultures, belonging to a political community; therefore,
you have the right to belong; they had certain duties that guaranteed their belonging to
the group; your rights did not come first, it was the duties towards the city and the
common good of society
The notion of civic: You needed to participate in certain civic duties to be recognized as a
member of the group
A modern conception of rights and citizenship: Your rights came first and duties to the
community or society came second
Civil citizenship: The liberal understanding of citizenship, where the individual at the
centre; we should all be recognized as equals and our life, property and freedom should
be protected by the state- we are independent agents; as agents, we come up with our own
interests and desires which are regarded as rights and need to be protected; Civil
citizenship is negatively conceived
Social citizenship: is associated with the second generation of rights; based on human
dignity and solidarity- we need to come together as a collective to support and provide
for those in need, and guarantee employment, health care, and education- contested by
liberal tradition
It is through politics that we can redefine what we mean by basic human rights
Cultural Citizenship: Rebirth of cultural identity
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