Economic Policy and Human Rights: Holding Governments to Account

Balakrishnan, Radhika (ed)
Elson, Diane (ed)
Zed Books, London, UK, 2011, ISBN: 978 1 8481 3874 2, 256 pp.
Reviewed by or other comment: 

Rajesh Sampath
Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University

In the acknowledgements to Economic Policy and Human Rights, the editors state that the book draws on four years of collaborative work in the USA and Mexico and that it is a product of a diverse group of individuals and organisations. Although the individual chapters focus on specific comparative case studies of the USA and Mexico, the efforts that led to the consolidation of the book and its individual contributions are internationally diverse and quite vast. Beyond the geographical focus of the book's contents, the import and significance of the work points to its broader appeal for comparative studies in economic policy, human rights, and development studies in general. The work seems to approximate that of a veritable textbook rather than a loose anthology of separate essays: the work is intended for a global audience interested in the relationship between progressive economic policy and the power of human rights frameworks to augment positive social change through economic justice. The editors' hope is that the work can spark broader theoretical and empirical academic work and policy contributions that seek to foster greater understanding of the creative linkages between two worlds commonly construed as disparate and disconnected: the fields of macro-economics and human rights advocacy.

The full  book review is available here: