Socioeconomic Rights and Theories of
Justice

JEREMY WALDRON*

TABLE OF CONTENTS
..................................................

1.

INTRODUCTION

II.
Ill.
IV.
V.
V.

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OUR CONSIDERED JUDGMENTS
.......................................
SCARCITY AND ISSUES OF PRIORITY
.........................
ALLOCATION VERSUS STRUCTURE AND PROCEDURE
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CONTRACTARIAN ARGUMENTS FOR PRINCIPLES OF JUSTICE
CHOICE AND PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY....................................

VII.

SECOND-BEST THEORY..................................................

VIII.
IX.

JUSTICE AND PUBLIC POLICY.......................................
...........................................................
CONCLUSION

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1. INTRODUCTION
What is the relation between socioeconomic rights and theories of
justice? By socioeconomic rights, I mean rights of the kind we see listed
in Articles 23-26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
(UDHR),' in Articles 9-13 of the International Covenant on Economic,
* University Professor and Professor of Law, New York University, and
Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory, Oxford. I am grateful to Ronald
Dworkin, John Ferejohn, Bernard Grofman, Jeff Howard, Janos Kis, Liora Lazarus,
Franch Michelman, Dan McDermott, David Miller, Thomas Nagel, Pasquale Pasquino,
Thomas Pogge, and Henry Shue for comments on an earlier draft of this Article.
Portions of pages 784-87 are reprinted with the permission of the Cambridge University
Press.
1. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, G.A. Res. 217 (111) A, U.N. Doc.
A/RES/217(lll), at 75-76 (Dec. 10, 1948) (declaring, for example, rights to education, to
an adequate standard of living, and to protection against unemployment).

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