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Citizenship and justice


  • Andrew Mason

    (University of Southampton, UK,


Are the rights, duties, and virtues of citizenship grounded exclusively in considerations of justice, or do some or all of them have other sources? This question is addressed by distinguishing three different accounts of the justification of these rights, duties, and virtues, namely, the justice account, the common-good account, and the equal-membership account. The common-good account is rejected on the grounds that it provides an implausible way of understanding what it is to act as a citizen. It is then argued that the justice account and the equal-membership account provide complementary perspectives that differ in terms of the scope of the duties they ground: the latter offers an analysis of the duties that citizens proper (those with an unconditional right of residence and full political rights) owe to each other, whereas the former provides an analysis of the duties that those who are under the jurisdiction of the same state, whether fellow citizens or not, owe to each other. The article concludes by arguing that the distinction between the justice account and the equal-membership account cuts across the traditional one that is drawn between liberal and republican theories of citizenship.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Mason, 2011. "Citizenship and justice," Politics, Philosophy & Economics, , vol. 10(3), pages 263-281, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:pophec:v:10:y:2011:i:3:p:263-281

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    References listed on IDEAS

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