This book offers a conception of citizenship that is independent of any specific form of political organisation, while being compatible with multiple levels of political institutionalisation. Its de-contextualised account of citizenship differs from both cosmopolitan and nation-statist accounts. Using that conception, the book addresses topical and normative debates in one particular transnational political association: the European Union. Bringing political theory together with debates in international relations and in citizenship studies, the author argues that citizenship should be understood as an institutional role through which persons might exercise their political agency: their capacities to shape the contexts of their lives and promote the freedom and well-being of themselves and, importantly, fulfil their duties to others within and outside of the polity. The work draws on the rights-based philosophy of Alan Gewirth.
ontological one in Kant) let alone in other theories that do not share
Kant’s epistemological premisses. That said, a similar move has also been
made by AlanGewirth,7 whose moral theory I accept (about which, see
further below). However, in Gewirth, the person (or more precisely, the
agent) is not split into a phenomenal and a noumenal agent, but (in alterna-
Deryck Beyleveld 97
tive models) into aspects of the agent, or the present and future agent, or
into different capacities of the agent, which are then treated analogically as
different agents. This, however, is
Chapter 4 presents an analytical introductory overview of the universalistic rights-based theory of action of Alan Gewirth’s Reason and Morality, drawing out its focus on action and agency, its basic claim that moral agents have rights to freedom and well-being, and the institutional implications that are claimed to follow. This idea of the person as an agent with rights to freedom and well-being, and, correlatively, duties in respect of others’ rights to freedom and well-being, underlies the conception of de-contextualised citizenship developed throughout Supranational Citizenship. The discussion is organised under the following headings: rights, interaction and interdependence, roles and institutions, the argument against anarchy, political freedom and democracy, welfare and social equality. It establishes that social and political institutions are inextricable elements in Gewirth’s moral philosophy.
. ‘Supra’, the Oxford English Dictionary tells us, means ‘above, beyond, in addition to’.
Happily, the rubric ‘supranational citizenship’ neatly captures the different facets
and the conceptual ambiguities of citizenship of the EU.
The philosophy of AlanGewirth
My approach to the problem of supranational citizenship draws on and extends
the moral philosophy of AlanGewirth,49 with which most of this book’s readers
are likely to be unfamiliar. Many may have limited acquaintance with normative
political theory in general, and of those who do happen to be blessed with
reasonableness’, which it is ‘stringently rational’ to uphold since to deny it is to incur selfcontradiction. See AlanGewirth, ‘The Rationality of Reasonableness’, Synthese, 57 (1983).
Gewirth, The Community of Rights, pp. 93–6 and p. 333; AlanGewirth, ‘Common Morality
and the Community of Rights’, in G. Outka and J. Reeder (eds), Prospects for a Common
Morality (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993), pp. 44–6.
Gewirth, The Community of Rights, p. 96.
Gewirth, The Community of Rights, p. 41.
Gewirth, The Community of Rights, pp. 6, 31.
Rawls, A Theory of Justice
), Fundamentals in British Politics (Basingstoke: Macmillan Press
Ltd/New York: St Martin’s Press, Inc, 1999), p. 248.
26 For example, Walzer’s position in Spheres of Justice, though he has not been consistent on
the relation of morality and ethics.
27 Alasdair MacIntyre, ‘Is Patriotism A Virtue?’.
28 AlanGewirth, ‘Is Cultural Pluralism Relevant to Moral Knowledge?’, p. 22.
29 Gewirth, ‘Is Cultural Pluralism Relevant to Moral Knowledge?’ p. 39.
30 Gewirth, ‘Is Cultural Pluralism Relevant to Moral Knowledge?’, p. 42.
31 AlanGewirth, ‘Replies to
of the Peace ( Defensor Pacis ). John of Jandun was a close associate of Marsilius, and may have influenced him, but the Defender of the Peace was uniquely Marsilius’s work. See Marsilius of Padua, Defensor Pacis , ed. C.W. Previté-Orton (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1928). For an English translation of the complete text, see Marsilius of Padua, Defensor Pacis , trans. AlanGewirth (New York: Columbia University Press, 1956 and 2001).
3 The Dominican order of friars.
4 The Franciscans
Books, 1961), p. 76.
26 Goffman, ‘Role Distance’, p. 7.
27 AlanGewirth, ‘Obligation: Political, Legal, Moral’, in Human Rights: Essays on Justification
and Application; A. John Simmons, Moral Principles and Political Obligations (Princeton,
NJ: Princeton University Press, 1979), pp. 16–21; Albert Weale, ‘Citizenship Beyond Borders’, in Ursula Vogel and Michael Moran (eds), The Frontiers of Citizenship (Macmillan
Academic and Professional, 1991), pp. 158–9; Albert Weale, Democracy (Basingstoke and
London: Macmillan Press, 1999), p. 87.
28 Desmond S. King and Jeremy
necessity. That suggests
that a third primary good, the powers of citizenship, must be added to Gewirth’s
two primary goods of individual freedom and individual well-being.
1 AlanGewirth, ‘Civil Liberties as Effective Powers’, in Gewirth, Human Rights: Essays on
Justification and Applications, p. 313, emphasis added. See also the discussion in Gewirth,
The Community of Rights, pp. 335–47.
2 See Gary Watson (ed.), Free Will (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1982),
for some important essays in this area.
3 Gewirth, Reason
, and system maintenance, in A. H. Birch, Representation (London and Basingstoke: The Macmillan Press,
1972), pp. 106–23.
15 AlanGewirth, ‘Professional Ethics: The Separatist Thesis’, Ethics, 96 (1986), p. 299; Beyleveld
and Brownsword, Law as a Moral Judgment.
16 Gewirth, The Community of Rights, p. 271.
17 The connection of authorisation and representation is sometimes associated with Hobbes.
See the discussion in Hanna Fenichel Pitkin, The Concept of Representation (Berkeley and
Los Angeles, California: University of California Press/London: Cambridge University