Rights and Welfare State

Definition of rights and citizenship respectively – basic approaches

individual/micro level


psychological dimension

meso and macro level

Maine: «from status to contract»

legal-institutional dimension and concern with «social behaviour»

micro, meso and macro level

Durkheim: development from mechanical to organic solidarity

largely «normative» orientation

micro and macro level

Toennies: development from Gemeinschaft («community») to Gesellschaft («society»)

Dealing with a shift economic relations (in their economic but as well general social meaning)

With regard to the definition of citizens’ rights an important distinction exists between positive and negative rights which can be linked to the elsewhere mentioned distinction of natural and moral law.

However, here there reference to «positive» and «negative» is concerned with the question if rights are granting the opportunity to actively tacking part in the development of society (designing, shaping society) or if they are solely dealing with a protective dimension.

It is probably here where the actual «shift» or «switch» from individual to social rights has to be developed. This, then, links back to the political process insofar as it opens to the question of fighting for rights.

As social rights they are largely dealing in a public space and we find consequently a deprivation, a process as well concerned with decommodification, i.e. taking issues back into the public sphere.

A process that is underlying in principal as well the pattern as it is described by T.H.Marshall with the reflection of the development from civil over political to social rights.

The non-legal, and social dimension of rights is getting clear when we look at the fundamental characteristics of a demos, namely






public spirit


public discourse




Discuss possible problems of lone parents with regard to their being part of a demos.