Ciudadanía y res publica: la aparición de los derechos republicanos
Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira
Instituciones y Desarrollo, 8-9, edición especial, Mayo 2001: 7-42.
A fourth kind of citizens rights - the republican rights - are being recognized and enforced in the last quarter of the 20th Century, after the civil, political, and social rights have been defined. Republican rights are the rights that every citizen has that the public patrimony, the res publica, is utilized on behalf of the public interest. While civil rights protect citizens against a powerful state, republican rights protect the state against powerful citizens involved in several forms of rent-seeking. Three major types of republican rights are identified rights to the environment, to the historical patrimony, and to the economic patrimony. The last, in flow terms, corresponds to the states revenues, which are permanently threatened by businessmen, bureaucrats, and all kinds of special interest groups, sometime in subtle ways. To identify and contain these threats is a major challenge for modern institutions and law systems.