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This collection of essays examines the promise and limits of social rights in Europe in a time of austerity. Presenting in the first instance five national case studies, representing the biggest European economies (UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain), it offers an account of recent reforms to social welfare and the attempts to resist them through litigation. The case studies are then used as a foundation for theory-building about social rights. This second group of chapters develops theory along two complementary lines: first, they explore the dynamics between social rights, public law, poverty and welfare in times of economic crisis; second, they consider the particular significance of the European context for articulations of, and struggles over, social rights. Employing a range and depth of expertise across Europe, the book constitutes a timely and highly significant contribution to socio-legal scholarship about the character and resilience of social rights in our national and regional constitutional settings.
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