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Rights-Based Approaches to Development : exploring the potential and pitfalls

Sam Hickey, Diana Mitlin Editors


The associations between human rights and the work of development activists didn’t receive widespread attention from international development agencies until the mid to late 1990s. The most visible sign that attitudes were changing occurred when the UN held its World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen in 1995. From that point on, rights became a stated objective of most agencies, regardless of the level of effort they actually spent in incorporating these ideas into their activities.

Now, over a decade after that crucial turning point, Rights-Based Approaches to Development reflects on the effect of the development community’s major shift in focus from market-based frameworks to a rights-based one. Contributors, both academics and practitioners, reflect on their experience with rights-based development activities. They draw out the current debates, theoretical and practical concerns and achievements, and larger implications about poverty and the relationship between citizens and the state. With powerful insights into where the development community has been and where it needs to go, Rights-Based Approaches to Development is critical to understanding the role of social justice in the context of development.

Publication information

  • External: X00021
  • Published: Apr 2009 - Kumarian Press
  • Theme: Urban
  • Language: English

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Mitlin, D. and S. Hickey, Eds. (2009). Rights-based approaches to development : exploring the potential and pitfalls. Sterling, VA, Kumarian Press.