Disability and the Right to Have Rights

Tobin Siebers


A major debate over human rights discourse concerns whether human rights should be guaranteed by the nation-state based on citizenship or whether they should be guaranteed internationally on the basis of the status of the rights-bearing person as human. This essay intervenes in this debate, via an analysis of Hannah Arendt's idea of the right to have rights, to argue that disability, as a critical indicator of universal human frailty, should provide the basis for international human rights.


Hannah Arendt; right to have rights; human rights discourse; disability rights; citizenship rights

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v27i1/2.13

Copyright (c) 2007 Tobin Siebers

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