Handbook of Social Policy and Development
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Handbook of Social Policy and Development

Edited by James Midgley, Rebecca Surender and Laura Alfers

The Handbook of Social Policy and Development makes a groundbreaking, coherent case for enhancing collaboration between social policy and development. With wide ranging chapters, it discusses a myriad of ways in which this can be done, exploring both academic and practical activities. As the conventional distinction between ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ countries becomes increasingly blurred, this Handbook explores how collaboration between social policy and development is needed to meet global social needs.
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Chapter 7: Social and human rights

Hartley Dean


Social rights may be understood as articulations of human need; as the mutual claims that human beings make upon one another as members of a uniquely social species. In recent times, collectively guaranteed social rights have been recognized in economically developed countries as rights of welfare state citizenship. But they have also been recognized as a core component of an international framework of human rights. The idea that human development necessarily entails social as well as economic development has resulted in rights-based approaches to policies and provision for social protection and security on the one hand, and for human services, such as health care, education and housing, on the other. Rights-based approaches, however, can take different forms and may prioritize self-determination and individual freedom; the realization of agreed standards of social provision; or the identification and eradication of poverty as a violation of human rights. Social rights are dynamic social constructs, central to social policy and development.

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