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January 17 , 2008

Human Welfare, Rights, and Social Activism

Rethinking the Legacy of J.S. Woodsworth


J.S. Woodsworth, a founding member and leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (forerunner of the New Democratic Party) and member of Parliament, was a social policy pioneer who promoted human welfare and rights over interests of property or finance. The essays in Human Welfare, Rights, and Social Activism explore the contemporary significance of Woodsworth's human rights framework by examining current social welfare objectives.

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Canadians continue to grapple with the enduring question of how to accommodate and reconcile social diversity and difference while articulating a common interest and advancing human rights, both domestically and internationally. These interdisciplinary essays address such issues as globalization, labour rights and law, the gendered and racialized dimensions of transnational labour, the relationship between human rights, social programs, and social rights, and the emergent cultural politics of difference. Taken as a whole, these essays pursue a careful consideration of the historical and contemporary exclusions to polity that occur around gender, ethnicity, class, and race.

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