Putting Universal Human Rights to Work: Policy Actions in the Struggle for Social Justice

. November 2012. 239p. 978-1-88409-283-1. 20.
Stuart (social work, emeritus, Univ. of Connecticut) directs his book at policymakers, lawmakers, and anyone else engaged in efforts to create a legal system that practices social justice. The author, who defines social justice according to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, aligns himself with New Deal–style progressive politics, and walks readers through arguments that this kind of social liberalism best fosters social justice. He then examines the wide array of programs and systems that make up a robust social justice network—including those that address employment, wages, infrastructure, housing, nutrition, health care, civil liberties, taxation, and education—and explains the current state of each. Throughout, Stuart bolsters his arguments with specific examples and hard data as well as with his own brand of modern political savvy. ­
VERDICT Stuart presents a balanced history of the evolution of America’s present social justice system while also making creditable arguments for what government policies he believes need to change to better foster socioeconomic equality and basic civil and human rights.

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