Thursday, July 9, 2015
S12 (13 rue de l'Université)
Socio-legal scholars have identified social movements as key actors in the definition and implementation of new rights. Studies of legal mobilization however have been mainly centered on litigation, to the detriment of the more discreet, day-to-day mobilizations around bureaucratic rights enforcement. This paper maps out how street-level bureaucracies impact rights enforcement by distinguishing between allocation, access and process, and analyzes how social movements intervene on these three levels. The case of French disability policy is used to provide a more detailed examination of the specific forms of intra-institutional advocacy which unfold when movement actors are integrated in the rights allocation process at the local level. Indeed, following a major 2005 reform, disability organization representatives were granted a third of the seats in the local committees in charge of the definition of rights entitlement on an individual basis. Drawing mainly on semi-structured interviews with these representatives and observations of committee meetings, the paper analyzes how movement members define their role in this institutional context.