Social Movements and Economic and Social Rights

Katharine G. Young

in Constituting Economic and Social Rights

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199641932
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191746086 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Constitutional Theory

Social Movements and Economic and Social Rights

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Part III argues that the contestations around economic and social rights, progressed by social movements and other private actors, are a vital part of their legality. This chapter examines the role and organization of social movements for economic and social rights. Drawing on the case study of the Legal Resources Center of Ghana, which organized around, petitioned for, and litigated, a community-based interpretation of the right to health, it suggests that the common features of jurisgenesis, of disturbing market and legal orthodoxies, and of framing of injustices, help to effect widespread change in social and legal understandings of economic and social rights. Against the theories of popular constitutionalism, it examines how counter-movements and backlash oppose such movements, and how an undue focus on cultural change can impinge on institutional change. Other social movements from South Africa, particular those formed in support of the right to housing and against evictions, are also examined

Keywords: social movements; legal resources center; jurisgenesis; market and legal orthodoxy; framing; popular constitutionalism; backlash; Ghana; South Africa

Chapter.  15219 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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