Pietro Costa

Diritti, costituzioni, cittadinanza: a proposito di una recente rilettura di Thomas Paine

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The recent book devoted by Thomas Casadei to Tom Paine represents a good opportunity to reconsider Paine's thought as a whole. Its relevance in Eighteenth century political philosophy could scarcely be overestimated. Being engaged in two revolutions (in North America and in France), Paine was able to focus on concepts which would have played a major part in modern political and legal doctrines: among them, the idea of the constituent power of people; the doctrine of political representation; the theory of rights. In this regard, Paine prematurely grasped the importance of a new category of rights (which in the twentieth century will be called "social" rights) and goes so far as to recommend the payment of a basic income to the citizen: a proposal which has been thoroughly debated only in recent times.


  • Constituent Power
  • Representation
  • Rights
  • Citizenship


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