Marco Goldoni

The Materiality of Social Rights

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Materiality, Social Rights, Political Constitutionalism, Needs

In constitutional law scholarship and practice, the dominant trend is to consider social rights structurally identical with other civil and political rights. This has entailed two important assumptions: social rights are individual entitlements, and they are proper rights as long as they can be enforced in court. This article challenges this approach to social rights by emphasising the link between their constitutionalisation and their materiality. The argument is articulated according to the following steps: first, social rights are grounded in needs; second, their determination is made dependent on the identification of the corresponding duty (and not on the main claim they contain); third, their materiality entails the recognition of the importance of production of services and goods that instantiate their content; fourth, if the previous points are accepted, then political mobilisation is deemed to be more important than judicial protection.

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