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A Third Wave, Not a Third Way? New Labour, Human Rights and Mental Health in Historical Context

  • Mick Carpenter (a1)

This historically situated, UK-based review of New Labour's human rights and mental health policy following the 1998 Human Rights Act (HRA) and 2007 Mental Health Act (MHA), draws on Klug's identification of three waves of human rights. These occurred around the American and French Revolutions, after World War II, and following the collapse of state communism in 1989, and the article assesses impacts on mental health policy up to and including the New Labour era. It critiques current equality and rights frameworks in mental health and indicates how they might be brought into closer alignment with third wave principles.

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L. Appleby (2007), Mental Health Ten Years On: Progress on Mental Health Reform, London: Department of Health.

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G. Richardson (2005), ‘The European convention and mental health law in England and Wales: moving beyond process?’, International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 28, 127–39.

G. Richardson (2008), ‘Coercion and human rights: a European perspective’, Journal of Mental Health, 17, 245–54.

P. Bracken and P. Thomas (2001), ‘Postpsychiatry a new direction for mental health’, British Medical Journal, 322, 724–7.

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Social Policy and Society
  • ISSN: 1474-7464
  • EISSN: 1475-3073
  • URL: /core/journals/social-policy-and-society
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