Juridification and Social Citizenship in the Welfare State
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Juridification and Social Citizenship in the Welfare State

Edited by Henriette Sinding Aasen, Siri Gloppen, Anne-Mette Magnussen and Even Nilssen

The concept of juridification refers to a diverse set of processes involving shifts towards more detailed legal regulation, regulations of new areas, and conflicts and problems increasingly being framed in legal and rights-oriented terms. This timely book questions the impact international and national regulations have upon vulnerable groups (the unemployed, patients, prisoners, immigrants, and others) in terms of inclusion, exclusion and social citizenship. Focusing on European welfare states, as well as lessons from Latin America, it considers the implementation of the right to health and the role of international courts. This book brings empirical analysis and multidisciplinary, comparative perspectives to the previously fragmented and largely theoretical debate on juridification in the welfare state.
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Chapter 15: Juridification and social citizenship: international law, democracy and professional discretion

Henriette Sinding Aasen, Siri Gloppen, Anne-Mette Magnussen and Even Nilssen


Throughout this book, our main concern has been to explore how social citizenship is legally constructed in different fields of the welfare state, and the legal and social implications of these constructions. Social citizenship is understood as the state’s regulation of opportunities for citizens to exercise their autonomy and participate in social and political life. This means that we are concerned with both the regulation of opportunities and the possible implications of the regulations for individual autonomy, participation and social integration. We approach juridification and social citizenship in a descriptive and analytical way rather than a normative way, in the sense that we do not take juridification to be inherently good or bad in relation to social citizenship. Rather, the social effects depend on the nature of specific juridification processes, as well as the context in which they play out. Each chapter describes different mechanisms and processes of juridification and how new forms of legal regulations, and changes in these, impact upon particular groups in terms of inclusion, exclusion and their social citizenship, thus contributing to the overall understanding of the role and implications of different legal regimes and instruments at work in the field of social welfare. The various empirical, theoretical and multidisciplinary analyses show that juridification is a highly diverse process both across countries, across fields and within the same field of social welfare.

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