© 2015

Human Rights-Based Community Practice in the United States


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Kathryn R. Libal, Scott Harding
    Pages 19-37
  3. Kathryn R. Liba, Scott Harding
    Pages 39-59
  4. Kathryn R. Libal, Scott Harding
    Pages 79-83
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 85-95

About this book


A transformative model for community social work rooted in basic social and economic rights is the basis of this timely Brief. With specific chapters spotlighting the rights to health care, nutritious food, and adequate and affordable housing, the book describes in depth the role of community practice in securing rights for underserved and vulnerable groups and models key aspects of rights-based work such as empowerment, participation, and collaboration. Case examples relate local struggles to larger regional and statewide campaigns, illustrating ways the book's framework can inform policymakers and improve social structures in the larger community. This rights-based perspective contrasts sharply with the deficits-based approach commonly employed in community social work, and has the potential to inspire new strategies for addressing systemic social inequality.

Features of Human Rights-Based Community Practice in the United States:

  • A conceptual basis for a rights-based approach to community practice.
  • Detailed analysis of legal and social barriers to health care, housing, and food.
  • Examples of effective and emerging rights-based community interventions.
  • Methods for assessing the state of human rights at the community level.
  • Documents, discussion questions, resource lists, and other valuable tools. 


Community Practice Economic and Social Rights Human Rights in Social Work Practice Right-based Social Work Practice Rights-based Advocacy Social Justice

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WorkUniversity of ConnecticutWest HartfordUSA
  2. 2.School of Social WorkUniversity of ConnecticutWest HartfordUSA

About the authors

Kathryn Libal, PhD, is Assistant Professor in Community Organization at the School of Social Work and Associate Director of the Human Rights Institute, University of Connecticut. She has published on women's and children's rights movements in Turkey and on the advocacy of international non-governmental organizations on behalf of Iraqi refugees. Her current scholarship has focused on the localization of human rights norms and practices in the United States, including a co-edited volume with Dr. Shareen Hertel on Human Rights in the United States: Beyond Exceptionalism (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and a new project on the politics of food security and food policy in the United States as a human rights concern. Kathryn Libal is also co-director, with Dr. David Richards, of the Economic and Social Rights Group at the University of Connecticut. Scott R. Harding, PhD, MSW, is Associate Professor in Community Organization at the School of Social Work, University of Connecticut. He teaches courses on community organizing, social welfare policy, poverty and inequality and war, militarism and social work. His research addresses “political social work,” including community organizing and collaborations to strengthen local communities and address forms of social exclusion. He has worked on social justice and international solidarity issues for more than 25 years. He was Executive Director and Policy Coordinator for the California Homeless & Housing Coalition and has served as a board member for national, state and local organizations in California, Kansas and Connecticut. He is a Board Representative of the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA), a Council Member of the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Council on Global Learning, Research and Practice, and former Editor of the Journal of Community Practice.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Human Rights-Based Community Practice in the United States
  • Authors Kathryn R. Libal
    Scott Harding
  • Series Title SpringerBriefs in Rights-Based Approaches to Social Work
  • Series Abbreviated Title SpringerBriefs in Rights-Based Approaches to Social Work
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Author(s) 2015
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Humanities, Social Sciences and Law Social Sciences (R0)
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-08209-7
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-08210-3
  • Series ISSN 2195-9749
  • Series E-ISSN 2195-9757
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XXI, 95
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Social Work
    Human Rights
    Social Policy
  • Buy this book on publisher's site