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Title: Economics versus Human Rights
Authors: Branco, Manuel
Editors: Routledge
Keywords: Human Rights
Social Policy
Welfare State
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Routledge
Citation: Branco, M. (2009) Economics Versus Human Rights, London and New York: Routledge, 168 páginas
Abstract: Human rights and economics are the concepts that have contributed the most to free human kind, the former from fear and the latter from need. Consequently, they should be completing rather competing. Unfortunately it does not seem to be the case. The aim of this book is to show how mainstream economics discourse is intrinsically opposed to the promotion of human rights, especially economic, social and cultural rights. The first chapter deals with the conflict between economics and human rights at a theoretical level; the second chapter shows how economics is opposed to the right to work; the third chapter aims at showing how economics, being a science concerned with the provision of goods and services for commercial purposes, conflicts with the idea of providing those same goods and services as rights, using as examples the right to water and the right to social security; the fourth chapter elaborates on the opposition of economics to cultural freedom, supported by the argument that economics tends to homogenize cultures on the basis of the idea that there is only one best culture to fulfil economic objectives; in the fifth chapter it will be argued that economics contributes to the erosion of the democratic idea; and, finally, in the sixth chapter the latter theme will be expanded in order to deal with the opposition of economic globalisation to democracy. The main conclusion of the book is that enhancing human rights in the global economy era demands a radical transformation of economics and of the economy. This transformation should be characterised by reinstating the primacy of the person over the economy, by replacing economics at the service of human dignity. One of the aspects of this transformation concerns the need for a democratic control of the market. This democratic control means that people affected by economic decisions should be able to participate in the making of those decisions. In other words, the book proposes the recognition of economics as essentially a political science, and, thereby, the rehabilitation of politics within economics’ discourse.
Type: book
Appears in Collections:NICPRI.UE - Publicações - Livros

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