Gewirth
Action and agency
in Supranational Citizenship
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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.

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