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The Reality of Western Support for Economic and Social Rights: A Reply to Susan L. Kang

From: Human Rights Quarterly
Volume 31, Number 4, November 2009
pp. 1030-1054 | 10.1353/hrq.0.0110



Susan Kang’s reply to our article on the West and economic and social rights accepts our central claim that the widespread view of Western opposition cannot be supported by the evidence. She subtly and usefully, however, shifts the discussion to a secondary claim in our article, namely, Western support for human rights. Kang argues that Western states have been ambivalent about economic and social rights and that the United States has been fundamentally reluctant to accept them. Our response provides substantial evidence of widespread Western support for economic and social rights and critically examines her alleged evidence of reluctance.