Supporting Vulnerable Adults: Citizenship, Capacity, Choice

By Ailsa Stewart | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
Citizenship and Capacity – An
Exploration of the Links with
Adult Protection

Introduction

This chapter will consider the concept of citizenship and its links to capacity within an exploration of Section 35 of the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007. The central argument within this chapter is that those individuals unable to perform the expected functions of citizens or who are, for whatever reason, structurally excluded from claiming their rights as citizens are likely to be treated inequitably. In addition, there is consequently the potential for them to be subject to state intervention regardless of their ability to make their own decisions (to have capacity or not). Essentially, the following is an exploration of the notion of being a citizen and acting as a citizen (Lister, 1998) and the impact on those who are unable to act as a citizen for whatever reason despite legally being one.

Concepts and theories of citizenship stretch back to the ancient Greeks in the fourth and fifth centuries and are generally modelled on a notion of the relationship between the individual and the society in which they live (Beckett, 2006). Those whose citizenship is curtailed, compromised or made fragile by their lack of ability in certain areas, due to unemployment or a disability, are often consequently not viewed as citizens. This effectively illustrates the potential for citizenship to be conditional.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN, 2006), ratified by the UK government in June 2009,

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