chapter  2
20 Pages

On Plural Subject Theory

This chapter suggests that a group can possess a right to non-interference as a protection against the loss of irreducibly social goods or needs, when such a loss is destructive of what is actually of value in the lives of its members. A striking feature of contemporary politics and of political philosophy has been the increasing attention paid to the significance of the claim that certain kinds of groups possess a right of self-determination. In particular, groups such as nations or peoples, cultural, religious and ethnic groups have been identified as claimants of a right to determine for themselves the nature of their collective life. Such rights are commonly contrasted with internal protection or restriction rights, which endow a group with the right to limit the liberty of its own individual members in the name of group solidarity or 'cultural purity'.