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rights

rights The idea of ‘rights’ has been championed in many different ways throughout history. However, the modern Western conception of rights may be traced through the English Magna Carta to the US Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen.

In the wake of international concern over the Holocaust, on December 10th 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed a Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which included the right to ‘life, liberty and security of person’, ‘recognition everywhere as a person before the law’, ‘freedom of movement’, ‘a nationality’, ‘freedom of thought, conscience and religion’, ‘freedom of peaceful assembly and association’, and ‘freedom to take part in government’.

In sociology, rights are usually seen to develop out of specific communities: they are social inventions that play an important—and contested—role in political life. For instance, in abortion politics in the United States, one side claims the ‘right to life’ whilst the other claims the ‘right to choose’. The concept of citizenship evokes notions of rights—as well as those of obligations (see B. S. Turner , Citizenship and Capitalism, 1986
). There is also an extensive literature on property rights (see, for example, S. R. Munzer , A Theory of Property Rights, 1990
). For a general introduction see Michael Freeden , Rights (1991)
. See also CIVIL RIGHTS; COLLECTIVISM; LIBERALISM.

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rights

rights rights of man rights held to be justifiably belonging to any person; human rights. The phrase is associated with the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, adopted by the French National Assembly in 1789 and used as a preface to the French Constitution of 1791.

See also right2.

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Rights

RIGHTS

RIGHTS. SeeHuman Rights ; Natural Rights .

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