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Rex Martin. A System of Rights. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1993. VII+ 439pp.
Stockholm University.
1995 (English)In: Theoria, ISSN 1755-2567, Vol. 61, no 1, 80-94 p.Article, book review (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.)) Published
Abstract [en]

Professor Martin says in his brief introductory chapter that this is a philosophical book on rights, dealing with "their nature, justification, and systematic connection with other political concepts" (p. 1). This, of course, is true; but it is equally true to say that the overarching theme of the book is the justification of political authority (see, e.g., pp. 5 and 22). For the reason Martin offers an analysis of the concept of a right and of its connection with other political concepts, such as democratic institutions', the right to issue rules', allegiance', and the practice of punishment', is that he aims at an internal justification of political authority, that is, a justification grounded in a certain background system of political concepts and institutions. Martin's approach is decidedly holistic, or, perhaps, systematic, in that he continually stresses the systematic connections between the key concepts he discusses (see, e.g., pp. 4, 8, 21, 308 and 321). As he sees it, "the notion of a justified political authority is a systematic one, and the logic of its justification involves establishing systematic connections between [its] . . . elements" (p. 8). In this review, I consider Martin's effort to provide an internal justification of political authority, and his contention that rights are accredited ways of acting.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 1995. Vol. 61, no 1, 80-94 p.
Keyword [en]
civil rights, political authority, internal justification
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-81442DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-2567.1995.tb00492.xOAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-81442DiVA: diva2:109357
Available from: 2006-08-21 Created: 2006-08-21 Last updated: 2014-03-17Bibliographically approved

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