Human need is a central but contested concept in social policy and the social sciences. This book provides an accessible overview of the subject using concepts from many disciplines. It presents a unique integrative model that shows how the main approaches may be reflected in social policy goals.
The author engages with recent debates which advance our understanding of human need, including human wellbeing and 'happiness'; poverty, social exclusion and global inequality; human difference, the diversity of needs and the concept of human capabilities. Most crucially, the book explores how human needs may be translated into rights and how these can be informed by a politics of human need.
The book offers essential insights for students of social policy, but will also be of interest to other social science disciplines, policy makers and political activists.
"..this book is a welcome addition to the literature and a very useful resource for teaching that fills an important gap." Gillian Brock in Journal of Social Policy
"Hartley Dean's book certainly meets a need: he expertly summarises debates over what human needs are, how they relate to happiness and capabilities, and what they entail for human rights and social policies. An invaluable book." Ian Gough
Emeritus Professor of Social Policy, University of Bath and co-author of 'A theory of human need'
Hartley Dean is Reader in Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His academic career has extended over 20 years, and was preceded by a 12 year career as a welfare rights worker. He has published extensively on issues relating to poverty, social citizenship and welfare rights.
Introduction; Inherent need; Interpreted need; Poverty, inequality and resource distribution; Social exclusion, capabilities and recognition; The thin and the thick of human well-being; Human need and social policy; Translating needs into rights; The politics of human need; Afterword