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Rights to Housing: Reviewing the Terrain and Exploring a Way Forward
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for Housing and Urban Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2505-8319
2014 (English)In: Housing, Theory and Society, ISSN 1403-6096, E-ISSN 1651-2278, Vol. 31, no 4, 447-463 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Exacerbated by the specificity of housing as a welfare good, debates on housing, citizenship and rights are complex and often confusing. This article attempts to clarify the debate on rights-based approaches in the field of housing, shelter and homelessness. It focuses on the philosophical distinction between “natural” and “socially constructed” rights, and suggests that a plausible “third way” may be found by using Martha Nussbaum’s “central human capabilities” approach as a foundation for universal human rights. “Citizenship” is proposed as a conceptual bridge between the philosophical discourse on rights and its practical application in specific political contexts. For this purpose, T.H. Marshall’s classic division between “civil” and “social” citizenship rights is translated into a distinction between “legal” and “programmatic” rights to housing. The article demonstrates that it is possible to object to the notion of natural and/or human rights in the housing field, and still be in favour of clearly delimited legal rights to housing for homeless people and others in acute need. Conversely, one may be in sympathy with the discourse of universal moral rights, but be sceptical about the allegedly “atomizing” implications of individually enforceable legal rights.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2014. Vol. 31, no 4, 447-463 p.
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Other Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-240517DOI: 10.1080/14036096.2014.923506ISI: 000348503700008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-240517DiVA: diva2:776646
Available from: 2015-01-07 Created: 2015-01-07 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved

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Bengtsson, Bo

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