Published online by Cambridge University Press: 11 January 2022
Social rights have yet to be accorded their proper place either in the history of the international human rights regime or in current practice. The concept of ‘generations’ of rights is as problematic as it is unhelpful in this regard. In the future, more historical work needs to be done on the relationships among conceptions of social rights, poverty alleviation and distributive justice, as well as on the relevance of national-level precedents and on the role of religion. The implications of extreme inequalities should also be a crucial element of future work, but the debate needs to be based on a deeper, more accurate and more integrated understanding of past approaches, as well as on clear definitions of the key terms and reference points. And more attention needs to be given to the crucial role played by a diverse array of civil society actors in this field. This final chapter lays out a research agenda that bridges the past, present and future of social rights.