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Courting Social Justice
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  • Cited by 38
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    This book has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Ngang, Carol C. 2017. Towards a right-to-development governance in Africa. Journal of Human Rights, p. 1.

    Kahraman, Filiz 2017. A New Era for Labor Activism? Strategic Mobilization of Human Rights Against Blacklisting. Law & Social Inquiry,

    Friedman, Steven and Maiorano, Diego 2017. The limits of prescription: courts and social policy in India and South Africa. Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, Vol. 55, Issue. 3, p. 353.

    Cuvi, Jacinto 2016. The Politics of Field Destruction and the Survival of São Paulo’s Street Vendors. Social Problems, Vol. 63, Issue. 3, p. 395.

    Kaletski, Elizabeth Minkler, Lanse Prakash, Nishith and Randolph, Susan 2016. Does constitutionalizing economic and social rights promote their fulfillment?. Journal of Human Rights, Vol. 15, Issue. 4, p. 433.

    Kavanagh, Matthew M. 2016. The Right to Health: Institutional Effects of Constitutional Provisions on Health Outcomes. Studies in Comparative International Development, Vol. 51, Issue. 3, p. 328.

    Osuji, Onyeka K. and Obibuaku, Ugochukwu L. 2016. Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility: Competing or Complementary Approaches to Poverty Reduction and Socioeconomic Rights?. Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 136, Issue. 2, p. 329.

    Schmitz, Hans Peter and Mitchell, George E. 2016. The Other Side of the Coin: NGOs, Rights-Based Approaches, and Public Administration. Public Administration Review, Vol. 76, Issue. 2, p. 252.

    Hertel, Shareen 2016. A new route to norms evolution: insights from India’s right to food campaign. Social Movement Studies, Vol. 15, Issue. 6, p. 610.

    Langford, Malcolm 2015. Rights, Development and Critical Modernity. Development and Change, Vol. 46, Issue. 4, p. 777.

    Osuji, Onyeka K. 2015. Corporate social responsibility, juridification and globalisation: ‘inventive interventionism’ for a ‘paradox’. International Journal of Law in Context, Vol. 11, Issue. 03, p. 265.

    Brinks, Daniel M. Gauri, Varun and Shen, Kyle 2015. Social Rights Constitutionalism: Negotiating the Tension Between the Universal and the Particular. Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 11, Issue. 1, p. 289.

    Gauri, Varun 2015. Deliberation and Development: Rethinking the Role of Voice and Collective Action in Unequal Societies. p. 223.

    Levitsky, Sandra R. 2015. The Handbook of Law and Society. p. 382.

    Elias, Juanita 2015. Realising Women’s Human Rights in Malaysia: The EMPOWER Report. Asian Studies Review, Vol. 39, Issue. 2, p. 229.

    Grenfell, Laura 2015. Realising Rights in Timor-Leste. Asian Studies Review, Vol. 39, Issue. 2, p. 266.

    Rosser, Andrew 2015. Realising Rights in Low Quality Democracies: Instructive Asian Cases. Asian Studies Review, Vol. 39, Issue. 2, p. 180.

    Forman, Lisa 2014. The Handbook of Global Health Policy. p. 457.

    Brown, Garrett W. and Paremoer, Lauren 2014. The Handbook of Global Health Policy. p. 77.

    Aydın-Çakır, Aylin 2014. Judicialization of Politics by Elected Politicians. Political Research Quarterly, Vol. 67, Issue. 3, p. 489.

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Book description

This book is a five-country empirical study of the causes and consequences of social and economic rights litigation. Detailed studies of Brazil, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and South Africa present systematic and nuanced accounts of court activity on social and economic rights in each country. The book develops new methodologies for analyzing the sources of and variation in social and economic rights litigation, explains why actors are now turning to the courts to enforce social and economic rights, measures the aggregate impact of litigation in each country, and assesses the relevance of the empirical findings for legal theory. This book argues that courts can advance social and economic rights under the right conditions precisely because they are never fully independent of political pressures.


‘Human rights are meaningless if they cannot be claimed. The formal court system is playing an increasingly important role in enforcing human rights claims in many countries, frequently with life-saving impacts, as part of the overarching institutional architecture and social mobilization for human rights accountability. Gauri and Brinks have produced a timely, distinctive and important comparative empirical analysis of prerequisites for effective legal claims to socio-economic rights, and their social policy implications. I have no doubt that this book will appeal to a wide readership of public policy makers, economists, social scientists and lawyers, transcending stale theoretical dichotomies between rights of different kinds and showing vividly what a cross-disciplinary field human rights has become.’

Louise Arbour - UN Commissioner for Human Rights

‘Judicial enforcement of social and economic rights has generated much theoretical controversy but little empirical work. Gauri and Brinks have taken a giant step forward with this methodologically innovative volume. The chapters fit together seamlessly, and provide a host of comparative and theoretical insights into the causes and consequences of judicial intervention in social and economic rights. The result is a major contribution to the literatures on rights, judicial power and social change, and the role of law in development.’

Tom Ginsburg - University of Chicago Law School

'The book offers a comparative analysis of five countries, South Africa, Brazil, India, Nigeria and Indonesia. Each case is rich in empirical data, as well as relevant social and political factors … This book is written to be accessible to both the serious empirical scholar of law and justice, as well as anyone interested in social justice and the protection of rights for disadvantaged populations. The ideas presented offer academics, scholars, and activists alike, the possibility of applying theoretical and empirical analysis to their own practices to further social justice … Overall, this book successfully merges theoretical analysis regarding the courts as policy makers and their ability to protect rights with empirical data through the case studies.’

Jamila Smith-Loud - University of Maryland

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