ABSTRACT

This book is primarily concerned with welfare rights in a particular democratic-welfare-capitalist state, namely Britain. There are however dangers in concentrating on the British case. First, the classic view of social citizenship expounded by T.H. Marshall (see Chapter 1), because it related so specifically to the British case, is profoundly ethnocentric and provides only a limited understanding of the scope and limits of social citizenship. Second, the future of the welfare state in Britain and elsewhere is increasingly dependent upon global influences. This chapter aims to open up the discussion and to consider the role that social rights might play in alleviating poverty in different parts of the world. It will consider the different ways in which democratic-welfare-capitalism has emerged in the Western or developed world and the extent to which, in an era of ‘globalisation’, social rights and social policy may extend to other parts of the world. I shall also return to the issue of human rights and the emergent discourse of global citizenship.