[lg policy] Group Rights, Participatory Goods, and Language Policy

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Mon Feb 5 10:32:10 EST 2018

 Group Rights, Participatory Goods, and Language Policy
Piet Goemans <http://utpjournals.press/author/Goemans%2C+Piet>Related

*Political Science, University of Pavia, Italy

*Political Science, University of Pavia, Italy

   - Abstract <http://utpjournals.press/doi/abs/10.3138/utlj.2017-0021>
   - PDF <http://utpjournals.press/doi/pdf/10.3138/utlj.2017-0021>


This article asks whether groups or individuals should hold rights to
participatory goods. Participatory goods are a type of public goods that
can only be enjoyed jointly, in participation with others. Denise Réaume,
who coined the term, argues that individual interests in participatory
goods cannot be of sufficient weight to ground rights to the core of
participatory goods. James Morauta has interpreted Réaume’s argument as a
constraint on the types of right-holders that can hold rights to
participatory goods ­– a holding constraint. Morauta then criticizes the
interpretation he made of Réaume. This article clarifies the disagreement
between these two authors by analysing how participatory goods are produced
and, more specifically, by introducing a distinction between threshold
actions – that is, actions that are necessary for producing a participatory
good – and surplus actions – that is, actions that are not, strictly
speaking, necessary for the production of a participatory good. I use this
analysis to do four things. First, I show that Réaume is right when it
comes to threshold actions but that Morauta is right in the case of surplus
actions. Second, I give a new argument for an adapted holding constraint –
that says that groups as well as individuals should hold rights to
participatory goods – based on an account of what it means to produce
participatory goods. Third, I show that this argument withstands Morauta’s
criticism. Finally, I spell out an account of group rights that is in line
with my argument. The result is an argument for, and an account of, group
rights that grants groups the legal standing to sue, which I think should
be granted to minority languages living intermingled with majority
*Keywords:* Denise Réaume
<http://utpjournals.press/keyword/Denise+R%C3%A9aume>, group rights
<http://utpjournals.press/keyword/Group+Rights>, James Morauta
<http://utpjournals.press/keyword/James+Morauta>, language policy
<http://utpjournals.press/keyword/Language+Policy>, participatory goods


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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