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Social Rights and the Politics of Obligation in History

ISBN13: 9781316519233
Published: January 2022
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £90.00

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This pioneering volume explores the long-neglected history of social rights, from the Middle Ages to the present. It debunks the myth that social rights are 'second-generation rights' – rights that appeared after World War II as additions to a rights corpus stretching back to the Enlightenment. Not only do social rights stretch back that far; they arguably pre-date the Enlightenment. In tracing their long history across various global contexts, this volume reveals how debates over social rights have often turned on deeper struggles over social obligation – over determining who owes what to whom, morally and legally. In the modern period, these struggles have been intertwined with questions of freedom, democracy, equality and dignity. Many factors have shaped the history of social rights, from class, gender and race to religion, empire and capitalism. With incomparable chronological depth, geographical breadth and conceptual nuance, Social Rights and the Politics of Obligation in History sets an agenda for future histories of human rights.

Legal History
1. Not 'second-generation rights': rethinking the history of social rights
Steven L.B. Jensen and Charles Walton
Part I. Religion, Markets, States: Sources of Social Rights before the Twentieth Century:
2. The rights of the poor: taking the long view
Julia McClure
3. Public welfare and the natural order: on the theological and free-market sources of socioeconomic rights
Dan Edelstein
4. Who pays? Social rights and the French revolution
Charles Walton
5. The Haitian revolution and socioeconomic rights
Philip Kaisary
6. Of rights and regulation: technologies of socioeconomic governance in a revolutionary age
Stephen Sawyer and William Novak
7. Socioeconomic rights before the welfare state: labour movements and economic emancipation in nineteenth-century Europe
Nicolas Delalande
Part II. Race, Gender, Class: Social Rights and the Paradoxes of Difference:
8. The soviet social: rights and welfare reimagined
Scott Newton
9. The Japanese 'welfare society': social rights and the seeds of the precariat?
Bernard Thomann
10. Liberation theology, social rights and indigenous rights in Mexico (c.
Rosie Doyle
11. The unhappy marriage of gender and socioeconomic rights in France
Laura Frader
Part III. Social Rights in the Age of Internationalism: The Politics of State Obligations:
12. The spirit of social rights
Samuel Moyn
13. From human welfare to human rights: considering socioeconomic rights through the 1947–1948 UNESCO human rights survey
Mark Goodale
14. Claiming land, claiming rights in Africa's internationally supervised territories
Meredith Terretta
15. The road from 1966: social and economic rights after the international covenant
Christian O. Christiansen and Steven L. B. Jensen
16. The present and future of social rights
Philip Alston