Citizenship and Vulnerability: Disability and Issues of by Angharad E. Beckett (auth.)

By Angharad E. Beckett (auth.)

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To Delanty’s and Lister’s challenges to Marshall’s theory can also be added the argument put forward by Offe (1984), that Marshall’s ‘social rights’ of citizenship, as they are embodied within the welfare state for example, have acted to buy off dissent and as a form of crisis management for capitalism. Whether this is a correct interpretation of the intentions underpinning the welfare state is unclear. It would certainly seem that the welfare state has not alleviated inequalities to the extent that Marshall may have envisaged.

My individual self is not something that I can detach from my relationship with others, or from those attributes of myself that consist in their attitude towards me. Consequently, when I demand to be liberated from, let us say, the status of political or social dependence, what I demand is an alteration of the attitude towards me of those whose opinions and behaviour help to determine my own image of myself. What Berlin (1958: 42) appears to be arguing here is that what oppressed individuals are demanding is not simply freedom of action, or equality of social and economic status/opportunity, the importance of which he does not overlook, but the right to be regarded as ‘fully human’.

For Hobbes, the state had only one major obligation to the individual citizen – to maintain social order. Equally, the individual citizen was obliged to obey the state, but had few rights beyond that of living in a socially ordered society. This is not, however, to negate Hobbes’ contribution to theorizing in this field. In many ways his approach marked an important transition in theorizing on citizenship and his work has been highly influential. Faulks (2000) identifies four key ways in which Hobbes’ work has influenced later theorists.

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