Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Department of Philosophy

Committee Chair

Bridget Clarke

Commitee Members

David Aronofsky, Tom Huff


constitutional law, cultural rights, economic rights, human rights, implementation of human rights, social right, South Africa


University of Montana


With the emergence of recent democracies, scholars engaged in a polemic debate about whether economic, social, and cultural rights should be included in national constitutions. Because economic, social, and cultural rights appeared to require significant political decision-making directly related to resources and economic priorities, critics contended that they were non-justiciable; treating economic, social, and cultural rights as justiciable would infringe on the balance of power among government branches. This thesis argues that constitutional entrenchment of such rights is appropriate to their realization in the twenty-first century because other methods of recognition may not sufficiently address implementation problems. Furthermore, it argues such rights are justiciable, using recent South African jurisprudence to illustrate a pragmatic judicial approach that is sensitive to the balance of power criticism. Hence, constitutionalization of economic, social, and cultural rights is practically achievable in the twenty-first century; although judicially cognizable constitutionalization may take forms different from the South African experience.



© Copyright 2010 Katherine Virginia Aldrich