An essential introduction to rights-based approaches in social policy, this text critically explores how social rights underpin human wellbeing. It discusses social rights as rights of citizenship in developed welfare states and as an essential component within the international human rights and human development agenda. It provides a valuable introduction for students and researchers in social policy and related applied social science, public policy, sociology, socio-legal studies and social development fields.
Taking an international perspective, the first part of the book considers how social rights can be understood and critiqued in theory – discussing ideas around citizenship, human needs and human rights, collective responsibility and ethical imperatives. The second part of the book looks at social rights in practice, providing a comparative examination of their development globally, before looking more specifically at rights to livelihood, human services and housing as well as ways in which these rights can be implemented and enforced. The final section re-evaluates prevailing debates about rights-based approaches to poverty alleviation and outlines possible future directions.
The book provides a comprehensive overview of social rights in theory and practice. It questions recent developments in social policy. It challenges certain dominant ideas concerning the basis of human rights. It seeks to re-frame our understanding of social rights as the articulation of human needs and presents a radical new 'post-Marshallian' theory of human rights.