2nd Edition

Sociality Social Rights and Human Welfare

By Hartley Dean Copyright 2025
    302 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    302 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book develops a very particular concept of sociality: a holistic way of understanding how human beings have come to care about and collectively provide for their welfare as a species and to recognise each other’s needs in terms of shared social rights. It tells not so much a success story as a hopeful story. It provides a new way of looking at how our rights to life’s essentials have been in the past, are now and can in the future be understood. It is, potentially, a book for anyone interested in the human condition but will be especially interesting for those engaged in human service provision, community action, social development, welfare law and political debate, and particularly useful to students of social policy and human rights.

    It is a radically revised edition of Social Rights and Human Welfare, first published in 2015. It provides modified, re-organised and updated versions of chapters from that book while offering a wholly new underlying narrative through which further to develop and apply the author’s alternative theory of social rights. It is a book about the connections between social rights and human welfare; between theory and practice; between debate and reality in the spheres of human service provision and human livelihoods.

    1.Human Sociality.  Part One - Established Theories of Social Rights.  2.The Social Rights of Citizenship.  3.Human Need and Human Rights.  4.Social Rights and Social Development.  5.Ethics, Ideologies and Sociality.  6.Critiques of Social Rights.  Part Two - Social Rights in Theory.  7.Rights to Human Services.  8.Rights to Livelihood.  9.Social Rights in Global Context.  10.Rights of Redress.  11.Conclusion.


    Hartley Dean is Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics. He had for 12 years been a welfare rights worker in Brixton, South London, before moving on to a 40-year academic career researching, teaching and writing about social justice issues.

    Sociality is what it means to be human; it underpins love, solidarity and social rights. Through this engaging exposition Hartley Dean beautifully finesses his long-standing commitment to social rights. He takes the reader to an alternative humanistic framing of the practical, philosophical and post-national realisation of the meeting of human needs.

    Fiona Williams, Emeritus Professor of Social Policy, University of Leeds


    In his new and fascinating book, Hartley Dean augments his earlir work on needs and social rights with an analysis of sociality which refers to the inherent aptitude of human beings for cooperation, care and interdependence. Encapsulating complex ideas in an all-embracing and novel narrative, the book makes a major contribution to welfare theory.

    James Midgley, Professor of Public Services, University of California


    While the world is searching for non-exploitative models of co-living, this book comes as a stimulating breeze, instilling confidence in our search for innovative solutions in a world of inequality. The book is a comprehensive examination of the idea of sociality, whose philosophical foundations are re-examined to provide a new lens 

    Sony Pelissery, Professor, National Law School of India University