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The Right to Have Rights – Citizenship, Humanity, and International Law - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Right to Have Rights: Citizenship, Humanity, and International Law

Alison Kesby


Writing in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, the political theorist Hannah Arendt argued that the plight of stateless people in the inter-war period pointed to the existence of a ‘right to have rights’. This right to have rights was the right to citizenship—to membership of a political community. Since then, and especially in recent years, theorists have continued to grapple with the meaning of the right to have rights. In the context of enduring statelessness, mass migration, people flows, and the contested nature of democratic politics, the question of the right to have rights ... More

Keywords: ‘right to have rights’, hannah arendt, citizenship, nationality, humanity, statelessness, international human rights law, the subject of rights, the politics of human rights, democratic politics, political theory, public international law

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199600823
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199600823.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Alison Kesby, author
Research Fellow, St John's College, Cambridge