The Dignity of Groups

30 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2008 Last revised: 18 Nov 2008

See all articles by Jeremy Waldron

Jeremy Waldron

New York University School of Law

Date Written: October 20, 2008


This paper explores the application of the concept of "dignity" to groups such as nations, peoples, cultures, and communities. It suggests that while there are certain difficulties with attributing dignity to groups, and while the attribution of dignity to some groups can be invidious, and while the attribution of dignity to a group might in the end amount to nothing more than an emphasis on the dignity of its members, still the idea of group dignity cannot be ruled out. It cannot be ruled out on either logical grounds or on grounds of moral and political principle; indeed it may often be the best way of conveying important moral information about the value of groups to their members.

Keywords: dignity, community, constitutionalism, culture, equality, inidvidualism, multiculturalism, states

Suggested Citation

Waldron, Jeremy, The Dignity of Groups (October 20, 2008). Acta Juridica, 2008; NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 08-53. Available at SSRN:

Jeremy Waldron (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

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