Final Exam - Johansen 1 Houston Johansen Professor Lahoud...

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Johansen 1 Houston Johansen Professor Lahoud Political Science 101 March 16, 2006 Final Exam Question 1: Citizenship is a cornerstone upon which modern societies are built. In a very simplistic sense, citizenship is a means of grouping a person to a particular state. However, in modern societies the word citizen, or citizenship, has a deeper meaning. A citizen in today’s world refers to a member of a political community, which is defined and run by, certain rights and obligations. Some of these rights and obligations rest with the state, others rest with the citizen. Both are immanently bound and regulated by this give and take. Though this is the modern view of what it means to be a citizen, this definition of citizenship leaves much to question. For this definition to be complete, and for one to fully grasp the modern meaning of citizenship, both the rights and the obligations of the state and the citizen must be described. When a person refers to “rights”, which happens often in today’s world, that person it referring either to legal rights, or to moral rights. Legal rights are simply rights that a based on laws made by the state. These types of rights are protected under each nations legal system. An example of a legal right, is the right to bare arms in the Unite States. Legal rights, because they exist only in a legal framework, do not necessarily have an ethical or moral backing to them. These amoral rights are known as “positive rights.” Moral rights on the other hand may have no legal basis for their existence, and are based
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Johansen 2 squarely on philosophical and moral foundations. These types of rights are known as “negative rights.” These moral, or negative, rights are generally based on a persons idealistic view of how the would should be. Because these types of rights are based on moral and ethical foundations, often times they are only enforceable in a moral, not a legal sense. A perfect example of this type of right comes from Andrew Haywood’s book, Political Theory. In the chapter on rights and obligations, he explains how a promise is a form of moral right. A promise, unless made into a formal legal agreement, is based only on moral principals, and the punishment that one could receive for breaking
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This essay was uploaded on 04/22/2008 for the course POLITICAL 120 taught by Professor Roth during the Spring '08 term at Goucher.

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Final Exam - Johansen 1 Houston Johansen Professor Lahoud...

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