Discipline: Political Philosophy
Civic virtue is a bulwark against authoritarianism, but also against the worst excesses of democracy. It has been appropriated by the proponents of republicanism and communitarianism, focusing upon duties rather than rights, and the collective rather than the individual. This paper demonstrates, however, that republicanism and community values are not mutually exclusive with the concept of universal individual human rights. It considers traditional interpretations of civic virtue from both West and East, then introduces a conceptualization of the relationship between rights and responsibilities which alienates neither the liberal concept of individuals as universal human rights bearers, nor the communitarian perspectives.