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Title: A Human Rights Lens: Reclaiming the Narrative for Social Rights as Legal Rights
Author(s): Boyle, Katie
Camps, Diana
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Editor(s): Adler, Michael
Citation: Boyle K & Camps D (2022) A Human Rights Lens: Reclaiming the Narrative for Social Rights as Legal Rights. In: Adler M (ed.) A Research Agenda for Social Welfare Law, Policy, Practice and Impact. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Issue Date: Dec-2022
Date Deposited: 8-Mar-2022
Abstract: This chapter seeks to outline a future research agenda for social rights that (a) reclaims social rights as legal rights and (b) exposes the structural flaws that undermine the recognition of social rights as legal rights. We draw upon recent insights and interdisciplinary methods that have significant potential when applied to social welfare law, policy and practice across the UK. We argue that to build a future research agenda for social welfare law using a human rights lens requires a two-stage approach. First, we contend that research must address the systemic and structural inadequacy of the legal recognition of social rights as legal rights and continue to propose solutions to close this gap. Second, we suggest that adopting a critical interdisciplinary lens helps make visible how underlying systemic and structural issues have led to exclusionary practices in the enjoyment of social rights. By addressing the former, we direct the research agenda towards reclaiming the narrative for social rights as justiciable (enforceable legal) rights in and of themselves. In addressing the latter, we deploy a critical discourse lens that shapes the research agenda in ways that mobilise counter discourses to subvert dominant valuation discourses, which classify certain groups of people as ‘undeserving’ of social rights and dignity.
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