This important volume examines rights from an inter-disciplinary law and society perspective, beginning with the premise that the most basic functions of rights requires the empirical study of rights consciousness and claiming behavior. As such the volume includes articles and essays by political scientists, historians, lawyers, and sociologists which place the study of ordinary citizens' understandings of rights, and what actions they take based on that knowledge, at the forefront of an empirical research agenda. This has important implications for law's capacity to achieve social change and can lead to better understanding of how rights can and should operate in a social and legal system. The volume is organized around the social movements and political processes which give rise to rights, the processes by which people come to understand they enjoy a right, the decision to invoke the right either formally or informally, and the organizational and institutional constraints and opportunities for exercising rights.

part 1|77 pages

Historical and Philosophical Perspectives on Theories of Rights

chapter |9 pages


chapter 2|15 pages

Of Property

chapter 3|16 pages

Constitutional Democracy

A Paradoxical Union of Contradictory Principles?

chapter 4|33 pages

The Model of Rules

part 2|173 pages

Conflicts of and about Rights

chapter 5|55 pages

The New Property

chapter 6|17 pages

Rights in Conflict

chapter 8|41 pages

An Essay on Rights

part 3|362 pages

Rights in Empirical Relief

section |50 pages

Rights in Social Movements