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The future of economic and social rights is unlikely to resemble its past. Neglected within the human rights movement, avoided by courts, and subsumed within a single-minded conception of development as economic growth, economic and social rights enjoyed an uncertain status in international human rights law and in the public laws of most countries. However, today, under conditions of immense poverty, insecurity, and political instability, the rights to education, health care, housing, social security, food, water, and sanitation are central components of the human rights agenda. The Future of Economic and Social Rights captures the significant transformations occurring in the theory and practice of economic and social rights, in constitutional and human rights law. Professor Katharine G. Young brings together a group of distinguished scholars from diverse disciplines to examine and advance the broad research field of economic and social rights that incorporates legal, political science, economic, philosophy and anthropology scholars.
At this time when many have lost hope amidst conflicts, terrorism, environmental destruction, economic inequality and the breakdown of democracy, this beautifully written book outlines how to rethink and reform our key institutions - markets, corporations, welfare policies, democratic processes and transnational governance - to create better societies based on core principles of human dignity, sustainability, and justice. This new vision is based on the findings of over 300 social scientists involved in the collaborative, interdisciplinary International Panel on Social Progress. Relying on state-of-the-art scholarship, these social scientists reviewed the desirability and possibility of all relevant forms of long-term social change, explored current challenges, and synthesized their knowledge on the principles, possibilities, and methods for improving the main institutions of modern societies. Their common finding is that a better society is indeed possible, its contours can be broadly described, and all we need is to gather forces toward realizing this vision.