On rights in game forms

Marc Fleurbaey, Martin Van Hees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This paper makes a contribution to the further development of the game-theoretic analysis of rights. The model presented here differs in several respects from the existing models. First of all, a distinction is made between outcome-oriented and action-oriented rights, a distinction which is closely related to the distinction between active and passive rights. Second, the legal-theoretic notions of negative and positive rights are formally defined. Third, we not only discuss the definition of rights, but also the way rights can be violated. Using the distinction between negative and positive rights on the one hand, and between active and passive rights on the other, four different types of basic rights are distinguished. For each of these rights, the situations in which they can be said to be respected are examined. We thereby distinguish two possible sources of obstruction: by (groups of) individuals, and by law. Finally, the question of the possible realization of rights is examined. Depending on how the problem of the possible mutual incompatibility of rights is addressed, two distinct approaches are examined. It turns out that in both approaches the possible realization of rights crucially depends on characteristics of the 'state of nature'.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-326
Number of pages32
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'On rights in game forms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this