Encyclopedia of Global Justice

2011 Edition
| Editors: Deen K. Chatterjee

Group Rights

  • Anna Moltchanova
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_76

We cannot discuss global justice without coming upon the notion of group rights. Throughout their lives, individuals function as members of various groups – nations, linguistic and cultural communities, religious, political and volunteer organizations, and so on. Groups can have legal rights, and it is a widely shared intuition that groups are often morally entitled to the unimpeded enjoyment of their group activities. But groups do not exist in isolation, and their entitlements may conflict with the rights of their members or the rights of other groups or individuals. The moral underpinnings of global justice require that we have a clear idea of how to define and classify group entitlements and that we work on a set of clear criteria for ranking and prioritizing group and individual rights, should the conflicts among them arise.

The good of sharing a culture, communicating in a language, or playing a team sport cannot be enjoyed except in a community with others. Thus, goods like...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.



Parts of this entry were first published in Anna Moltchanova, “Collective agents and group moral rights,” The Journal of Political Philosophy: 17(1), (2009), 23–46, reprinted by permission of the publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd.


  1. Baker J (ed) (1991) Group rights. University of Toronto Press, TorontoGoogle Scholar
  2. Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/charter/
  3. Green L (1991) Two views of collective rights. Can J Law Juris 4(2):315–327Google Scholar
  4. Kymlicka W (1995) Multicultural citizenship: a liberal theory of minority rights. Clarendon, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  5. Parekh B (2000) Rethinking multiculturalism: cultural diversity and political theory. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  6. Réaume D (1991) The group right to linguistic security: whose right, what duties? In: Baker J (ed) Group rights. University of Toronto Press, TorontoGoogle Scholar
  7. Shapiro I, Kymlicka W (eds) (1997) Ethnicity and group rights, NOMOS 39. New York University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  8. Sistare C, May L (eds) (2001) Groups and group rights. University Press of Kansas, LawrenceGoogle Scholar
  9. Van Parijs P (2002) Linguistic justice. Polit Philos Econ 1(1):59–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Moltchanova
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyCarleton CollegeNorthfieldUSA