Article Title

How Human Rights Shape Social Citizenship: On Citizenship and the Understanding of Economic and Social Rights

Publication Title

Washington University Global Studies Law Review


This Article reconceptualizes citizenship, a notion usually tied to the nation state, as “layered.” Human rights may serve as the international “layer” of citizenship, addressing nationals and non-nationals alike. It took some time, however, for “social” citizenship to emerge as a human rights issue and, hence, for human rights to become an international layer for social citizenship rights granted on the national level. Around 1993, states started to accept a human rights-based obligation toward the poor, requiring social policies to focus on targeted, individual welfare. Nowadays, poverty mitigation is the human rights core of “social” citizenship.