A part of a book
Chapter: chapter ou part
Global public rules and citizenship rights: A new responsibility of private business firms?
Title of the book
Corporate Ethics and Corporate Governance
Address of publication
Zimmerli W.C., Holzinger M., Richter K.
Economic activities require the existence of rules and their enforcement as preconditions that the market cannot generate itself. Property rights, contractual rights and obligations are minimal conditions that in modern societies are provided and enforced by the state. Without such rules, the market cannot flourish. The state thus determines regulations and delineates the sphere of private freedom, within which individual citizens and private institutions are entitled to conclude contracts amongst each other but are as well forced to abide by the contracted rules. In line of the development of modern nation states, the state has not only been the guarantor of civil rights, e.g. the right to own property, to enter into private contracts, and to engage in market activity. In its role as a democratic constitutional state it has also been the guarantor of political participation rights, the right of the citizen to take part in the processes to determine public rules and issues of public concern. Finally, in its role as a welfare state it has provided social rights for citizens, such as the right to education, to healthcare and welfare (Marshall, 1965). The combination of state-guaranteed civil, political, and social rights provided modern society with welfare, legitimacy and solidarity, thereby contributing to peacefully stabilize the community of anonymous individuals (Habermas, 2001). Following Matten and Crane (2005) we refer to this triad of rights as citizenship rights.
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