6.7.3 Individual Rights and Responsibilities

Countries make political decisions about allocating individual rights and responsibilities to citizens, permanent residents, and visitors

This is a politically contested topic because globalisation has led to an increase in population movement.  Some people want migration to be as smooth as possible, whereas others want to put controls in place.  Countries vary in how easy it is to apply for citizenship, for example.

The following sub-sections examine the rights and responsibilities of each status of individual:

●  Some individual rights and responsibilities apply to everyone, including temporary visitors (  Everyone benefits from public infrastructure and from most public services.  They must all pay sales taxes, obey the law, and should be courteous to everybody else.

●  Permanent residents – ‘denizens’ – have additional rights and responsibilities, which may be discretionary (  They contribute a lot to society, paying more taxes than visitors.  There is a good case for giving them a route to full citizenship.

●  Citizens have more individual rights and responsibilities than denizens or visitors (  They can participate in politics, and they may feel a sense of belonging to the country and wanting it to get better.



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This page is intended to form part of Edition 4 of the Patterns of Power series of books.  An archived copy of it is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition04/673a.htm.