1st Edition

Social Rights and Human Welfare

By Hartley Dean Copyright 2015
    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    Part 1: Social Rights in Theory  1. The Social Rights of Citizenship  2. Human Needs and Human Rights  3. Ethics and Social Welfare  4. Critiques of Social Rights  Part 2: Social Rights in Practice  5. Social Rights in Global Context  6. Rights to Livelihood  7. Rights to Human Services  8. Rights of Redress  Part 3: Re-Thinking Social Rights  9. Social Rights and Social Development  10. The Future of Social Rights


    Hartley Dean is professor of social policy at the London School of Economics. His 30 years in academia were preceded by a 12-year career as a welfare rights worker in one of London's most deprived multicultural neighbourhoods. His principal teaching and research interests stem from concerns with poverty, social justice and welfare rights. Among his more recently published books are Welfare Rights and Social Policy (Prentice Hall, 2002), Social Policy (Polity, 2006 & 2012) and Understanding Human Need (The Policy Press, 2010).

    This thoughtful, wide-ranging and clearly written text provides both a useful introduction to the subject of social rights and a valuable critical analysis of their meaning and significance. Hartley Dean's exposition of a 'post-Marshallian' theory of social rights gives plenty of food for thought.

    Professor the Baroness (Ruth) Lister of Burtersett
    Emeritus Professor of Social Policy 
    Loughborough University