Human Rights and Economic Inequality

Project: Research

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Philosophy


  • human rights, economic inequality, socioeconomic inquality, economic rights


The project investigates the concept of human rights (HR) and its relation to economic inequality. A common view, challenged in this project, is that such inequality is not a human rights concern as long as basic needs are met. Research in economic and public health show links between economic inequality and health- and democracy deficiencies. This has both practical and conceptual implications. Economic inequality has consequences for what doubtlessly are human rights, while not being treated as part of what the concept of HR is about. The project addresses this asymmetry. Three areas are in focus. First, the formal features of HR: claims that correlate with some agent’s obligations. The project seeks to defend the argument that objects of claims can be long term, insecure goals, not only immediately realizable goods. Second, what HR are: rather than pre-political ethical phenomena, the view tested here is to see them as relational and as institutionalized powers to act. The third theme focuses on economic inequality as not only a matter of distribution of resources but as a factor affecting political and social inclusion, representation, accountability and norms and argues that HR need to relate to economic inequality on a systemic level. The project aims to develop a human rights concept capable of handling dynamics between political, social, and economic hierarchies. Another aim is methodological and concerns approaching concepts from the point of view of what functions one wants them to fill.
Effective start/end date2017/01/012021/12/31


Related research output

Lena Halldenius, 2020, I Pallas Athenas huvud: hundra år av humaniora. Rahm, H., Dunér, D., Hidal, S. & Jonsson, B. (eds.). Göteborg: Makadam förlag, (Skrifter; no. 98).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

Lena Halldenius, 2018, Mänskliga rättigheter i samhället. Halldenius, L., Arvidsson, M. & Sturfelt, L. (eds.). Malmö: Bokbox förlag, p. 35-54 20 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

Lena Halldenius, 2018, (Accepted/In press) Rethinking Liberty Before Liberalism. Dawson, H. & de Dijn, A. (eds.). Cambridge University Press

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

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Related activities

Halldenius, L. (Speaker)
2020 Oct 14

Activity: Talk or presentationPresentation

Halldenius, L. (Invited speaker)
2020 Sep 10

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Halldenius, L. (Speaker)
2020 Jan 29

Activity: Talk or presentationPresentation

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