Welfare Rights & Social Policy

By Hartley Dean
Prentice Hall / Pearson Education
May 2002
ISBN: 0-13-040462-4
288 Pages, Illustrated
$67.50 paper original


Welfare Rights and Social Policy provides an introduction to social policy through a discussion of welfare rights, which are explored in historical, comparative and critical contexts. At a time when the cause of human rights is high on the global political agenda the author asks why the status of welfare rights as an element of human rights remains ambiguous. Rights to social security, employment, housing, education, health and social care are critical to human well-being. Yet they are invariably subordinate to the civil and political rights of citizenship; they are often fragile and difficult to enforce, and because of their conditional nature they may be implicated in the social control of individual behavior. This is a book that connects theory and practice.

Part I focuses on conceptual debates about citizenship; poverty and need, the global context for welfare rights, and critiques of their consequences. Part II addresses the practical realities of rights to subsistence, work, shelter and, more briefly, to education, health and social care, including rights of redress. Part III explores the different ways in which welfare rights are ideologically constructed and the bearers of such rights are socially constituted. It argues for an ethical notion of responsibility that recognizes the nature of human interdependency, and for rights that regulate society in response to human needs.

Hartley Dean is a former welfare-rights worker, turned social policy academic. He is currently Professor of Social Policy at the University of Luton. His other publications include- Social Security and Social Control; Dependency Culture- The Explosion of a Myth (with Peter Taylor-Gooby); Welfare, Law and Citizenship; Poverty, Riches and Social Citizenship (with Margaret Melrose).

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