Making Rights a Reality?

Disability Rights Activists and Legal Mobilization

Making Rights a Reality?

Making Rights a Reality? explores the way in which disability activists in the United Kingdom and Canada have transformed their aspirations into legal claims in their quest for equality. It unpacks shifting conceptualizations of the political identity of disability and the role of a rights discourse in these dynamics. In doing so, it delves into the diffusion of disability rights among grassroots organizations and the traditional disability charities. It then shows how the diffusion of this rights model of disability can explain how and why disability activists have deployed legal strategies in pursuit of their goals. The book draws on a wealth of primary sources including court records and campaign documents and encompassing interviews with more than sixty activists and legal experts. While showing that the disability rights movement has had a significant impact on equality jurisprudence in two countries, the book also demonstrates that the act of mobilizing rights can have consequences, both intended and unintended, for social movements themselves.


Winner, 2011 Comparative Politics Book Prize, Canadian Political Science Association
Winner, 2011 Hart Early Career Prize, Socio-Legal Studies Association

Reference Title: General References

Reference Type: bibliography

Alter, Karen and Jeannette Vargas . 2000. “Explaining Variation in the Use of European Litigation Strategies: European Community Law and British Gender Equality Policy.” Comparative Political Studies 33(4): 452–82.
Andersen, Ellen Ann . 2005. Out of the Closets and Into the Courts: Legal Opportunity Structure and Gay Rights Litigation. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
ARCH Disability Law Centre . 2005. ARCH Celebrating 25 Years. Toronto: ARCH Disability Law Centre.
Armstrong, Sarah . 2003. “Disability Advocacy in the Charter Era.” Journal of Law and Equality 2(1): 33–91.
Barnes, Colin . 2002. “Disability, Policy and Politics.” Policy and Politics 30(3): 311–18.
Bell, Mark . 2002. Anti-Discrimination Law and the European Union. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Benford, Robert D . and David A. Snow . 2000. “Framing Processes and Social Movements: An Overview and Assessment.” Annual Review of Sociology 26: 611–39.
Börzel, Tanja A . and Thomas Risse . 2000. “When Europe Hits Home: Europeanization and Domestic Change.” European Integration Online Papers 4(15).
Bouwen, Pieter and Margaret McCown . 2007. “Lobbying versus Litigation: Political and Legal Strategies of Interest Representation in the European Union.” Journal of European Public Policy 14(3): 422–33.
Brodie, Ian . 2001. “Interest Group Litigation and the Embedded State: Canada's Court Challenges Program.” Canadian Journal of Political Science 34(2): 357–76.
Burke, Thomas F . 2004. “The European Union and the Diffusion of Disability Rights.” In Martin A. Levin and Martin Shapiro , eds., Transatlantic Policy-Making in an Age of Austerity: Diversity and Drift. Washington DC: Georgetown University Press.
Campbell, Jane and Mike Oliver . 1996. Disability Politics: Understanding our Past, Changing our Future. London: Routledge.
Casserley, Catherine . 2000. “The Disability Discrimination Act: An Overview.” In Jeremy Cooper , ed., Law, Rights and Disability. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Cichowski, Rachel A . 2007. The European Court, Civil Society and European Integration. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Cichowski, Rachel and Alec Stone Sweet . 2003. “Participation, Representative Democracy and the Courts.” In Bruce E. Cain , Russell J. Dalton , and Susan E. Scarrow , eds., Democracy Transformed? Expanding Political Opportunities in Advanced Industrial Democracies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Colker, Ruth . 2009. When Is Separate Unequal? A Disability Perspective. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Commission of the European Union, Directorate-General V . 1996. Mainstreaming Disability within EU Employment and Social Policy. Brussels: DG V Services Working Paper.
Curtis, Russell L . and Louis A. Zurcher . 1973. “Stable Resources of Protest Movements: The Multi-Organizational Field.” Social Forces 52(1): 53–61.
Della Porta, Donatella and Mario Diani . 2006. Social Movements: An Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
Diani, Mario and Doug McAdam . 2003. Social Movements and Networks. New York: Oxford University Press.
Disability Rights Commission . 2007. DRC Legal Achievements 2000–2007. Manchester: Disability Rights Commission.
Disability Rights Commission . 2007. Evaluating the Impact of the Disability Rights Commission: Final Report. Manchester: Disability Rights Commission.
Dowding, Keith . 1994. “The Compatibility of Behaviouralism, Rational Choice and ‘New Institutionalism.’” Journal of Theoretical Politics 6(1): 105–17.
Eisinger, P. K . 1973. “The Conditions of Protest Behavior in American Cities.” American Political Science Review 67(1): 11–28.
Endicott, Orville R . “Key Trends in Case Law Pertaining to Supports for Persons with Disabilities.” Unpublished manuscript on file with the author. Toronto.
Engel, David M . and Frank W. Munger . 2003. Rights of Inclusion: Law and Identity in the Life Stories of Americans with Disabilities. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Epp, Charles R . 1998. The Rights Revolution: Lawyers, Activists, and Supreme Courts in Comparative Perspective. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Epp, Charles R . 1999. “The Two Motifs of ‘Why the “Haves” Come out Ahead’ and its Heirs.” Law and Society Review 33(4): 1089–98.
Epstein, Lee and Joseph Kobylka . 1992. The Supreme Court and Legal Change: Abortion and the Death Penalty. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.
Finnemore, Martha and Kathryn Sikkink . 1998. “International Norm Dynamics and Political Change.” International Organization 52(4): 887–917.
Fredman, Sandra . 2002. Discrimination Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Galanter, Marc . 1974. “Why the ‘Haves’ Come out Ahead: Speculations on the Limits of Legal Change,” Law and Society Review 9(1): 95–160.
Gamson, William A . and David S. Meyer . 1996. “The Framing of Political Opportunity.” In Doug McAdam , John D. McCarthy , and Mayer N. Zald , eds., Comparative Perspectives on Social Movements. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Gibson, James . 1978. “Judge's Role Orientations, Attitudes and Decision: An Interactive Model.” American Political Science Review 72(3): 911–24.
Goffman, Erving . 1974. Frame Analysis. Boston: Northeastern University Press.
Gooding, Caroline . 2000. “Disability Discrimination Act: From Statute to Practice.” Critical Social Policy 20(4): 533–49.
Goodwin, Jeff and James M. Jasper . 1999. “Caught in a Winding, Snarling Vine: The Structural Bias of Political Process Theory.” Sociological Forum 14(1): 27–54.
Grewal, Ini , Sarah Joy , Jane Lewis , Kirby Swales , and Kandy Woodfield . 2002. “Disabled for Life”? Attitudes Towards, and Experiences of, Disability in Britain. London: DWP Research Report No. 148.
Hansford, Thomas G . 2004. “Information Provision, Organizational Constraints, and the Decision to Submit an Amicus Curiae Brief in a US Supreme Court Case.” Political Research Quarterly 57(2): 219–30.
Harlow, Carol and Richard Rawlings . 1992. Pressure Through Law. London: Routledge.
Herman, Didi . 1994. Rights of Passage: Struggles for Lesbian and Gay Legal Equality. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Heyer, Katharina C . 2002. “The ADA on the Road: Disability Rights in Germany.” Law and Social Inquiry 27(4): 723–62.
Hilson, Chris . 2002. “New Social Movements: The Role of Legal Opportunity.” Journal of European Public Policy 9(2): 238–55.
Holyoke, Thomas T . 2003. “Choosing Battlegrounds: Interest Group Lobbying Across Multiple Venues.” Political Research Quarterly 56(3): 325–36.
Jones, Melinda and Lee Ann Marks Basser , eds. 1999. Disability, Divers-Ability and Legal Change. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
Kelemen, R. Daniel . Forthcoming. The Rise of Adversarial Legalism in Europe. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Kirkland, Anna . 2008. “Think of the Hippopotamus: Rights Consciousness in the Fat Acceptance Movement.” Law and Society Review 42(2): 397–431.
Kirkland, Anna . 2008. Fat Rights: Dilemmas of Difference and Personhood. New York: New York University Press.
Kitschelt, Herbert P . 1986. “Political Opportunity Structures and Political Protest: Anti-Nuclear Movements in Four Democracies.” British Journal of Political Science 16(1): 57–84.
Koopmans, Ruud . 1999. “Political. Opportunity. Structure. Some Splitting to Balance the Lumping.” Sociological Forum 14(1): 93–105.
Krieger, Linda H . and K. E. Carr . 2003. Backlash against the ADA: Reinterpreting Disability Rights. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Kriesi, Hanspeter . 1995. New Social Movements in Western Europe: A Comparative Analysis. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
Lawrence, Susan E . 1990. The Poor in Court: The Legal Services Program and Supreme Court Decision Making. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Lempert, Robert O . 1976. “Mobilizing Private Law: An Introductory Essay.” Law and Society Review 11(2): 173–89.
Mahoney, James and Gary Goertz . 2004. “The Possibility Principle: Choosing Negative Cases in Comparative Research.” American Political Science Review 98(4): 653–69.
Malhotra, Ravi A . 2003. “The Duty to Accommodate Unionized Workers with Disabilities in Canada and the United States: A Counter-Hegemonic Approach.” Journal of Law and Equality 2(1): 92–155.
Manfredi, Christopher P . 2004. Feminist Activism in the Supreme Court: Legal Mobilization and the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund. Toronto: University of British Columbia Press.
Manfredi, Christopher P . and Antonia Maioni . 2002. “Courts and Health Policy: Judicial Policy Making and Publicly Funded Health Care in Canada.” Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 27(2): 213–40.
March, James G . 1981. “Footnotes to Organizational Change.” Administrative Science Quarterly 26(4): 563–77.
March, James G . and Johan P. Olsen . 1989. Rediscovering Institutions: The Organizational Basis of Politics. New York: Free Press.
March, James G . and Johan P. Olsen . 1998. “The Institutional Dynamics of International Political Orders.” International Organization 52(4): 943–69.
March, James G . and Johan P. Olsen . “The Logic of Appropriateness.” ARENA Working Paper 04/09. University of Oslo, Centre for European Studies.
McAdam, Doug , Sidney Tarrow , and Charles Tilly . 2001. Dynamics of Contention. New York: Cambridge University Press.
McCann, Michael . 1994. Rights at Work: Pay Equity Reform and the Politics of Legal Mobilization. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
McCarthy, John D . and Mayer N. Zald . 1977. “Resource Mobilization and Social Movements: A Partial Theory.” American Journal of Sociology 82(6): 1212–41.
McColgan, Aileen . 2005. Discrimination Law: Text, Cases and Materials. Oxford: Hart Publishing.
Meister, Joan . 2003. “An Early DAWNing (1985–1994).” In Deborah Stienstra and Aileen Wight-Felske , eds., Making Equality: History of Advocacy and Persons with Disabilities in Canada. Concord, ON: Captus Press.
Morag-Levine, Noga . 2003. “Partners No More: Relational Transformation and the Turn to Litigation in Two Conservationist Organizations.” Law and Society Review 37(2): 457–509.
Morton, F. L . and Avril Allen . 2001. “Feminists and the Courts: Measuring Success in Interest Group Litigation in Canada,” Canadian Journal of Political Science 34(1): 55–84.
Naples, Nancy . 2003. Feminism and Method: Ethnography, Discourse Analysis and Activist Research. New York: Routledge.
Neufeldt, Aldred H . 2003. “Growth and Evolution of Disability Advocacy in Canada.” In Deborah Stienstra and Aileen Wight-Felske , eds., Making Equality: History of Advocacy and Persons with Disabilities in Canada. Concord, ON: Captus Press.
Orren, Karen . 1976. “Standing to Sue: Interest Group Conflict in the Federal Courts.” American Political Science Review 70(3): 723–41.
Park, Peter , Althea Monteiro , and Bruce Kappel . 2003. “People First: The History and the Dream.” In Deborah Stienstra and Aileen Wight-Felske , eds., Making Equality: History of Advocacy and Persons with Disabilities in Canada. Concord, ON: Captus Press.
Peters, B. Guy . 2005. Institutional Theory in Political Science: The “New Institutionalism.” London: Continuum Press.
Peters, B. Guy , Jon Pierre , and Desmond King . 2000. “The Politics of Path Dependency: Political Conflict in Historical Institutionalism.” Journal of Politics 67(4): 1275–300.
Peters, Yvonne . 2003. “From Charity to Equality: Canadians with Disabilities Take Their Rightful Place in Canada's Constitution.” In Deborah Stienstra and Aileen Wight-Felske , eds., Making Equality: History of Advocacy and Persons with Disabilities in Canada. Concord, ON: Captus Press.
Poulter, Sebastien M . 1998. Ethnicity, Law and Human Rights: The English Experience. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Pritchett, C. Herman . 1948. The Roosevelt Court: A Study in Judicial Politics and Values. New York: MacMillan.
Public Law Project . 2001. Third Party Interventions in Judicial Review: An Action Research Study. London: Public Law Project.
Quinn, Gerard . 1999. “The Human Rights of People with Disabilities under EU Law.” In P. Alston , M. Bustelo , and J. Heenan , eds., The EU and Human Rights. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Rootes, Chris . 1997. “Shaping Collective Action: Structure, Contingency and Knowledge.” In Ricca Edmondson , ed., The Political Context of Collective Action: Power, Argumentation and Democracy. London: Routledge.
Rubin, Eva R . 1987. Abortion, Politics and the Courts. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Rucht, Dieter . 2005. “Movement Allies, Adversaries and Third Parties.” In David A. Snow , Sarah A. Soule , and Hanspeter Kriesi , eds., The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
Segal, Jeffrey A . and Harold J. Spaeth . 1993. The Supreme Court and the Attitudinal Model. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Shakespeare, Tom , ed. 1998. The Disability Reader. New York: Continuum.
Shakespeare, Tom . 2006. Disability Rights and Wrongs. London: Routledge.
Sikkink, Kathryn . 2005. “Patterns of Dynamic Multilevel Governance and the Insider-Outsider Coalition.” In Donatella Della Porta and Sidney Tarrow , eds., Transnational Protest and Global Activism. Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield.
Smith, Miriam . 1998. “Social Movements and Equality Seeking: The Case of Gay Liberation in Canada.” Canadian Journal of Political Science 31(2): 285–309.
Smith, Miriam . 2005. “Social Movements and Judicial Empowerment: Courts, Public Policy, and Lesbian and Gay Organizing in Canada.” Politics and Society 33(2): 327–53.
Smith, Miriam . 2008. Political Institutions and Lesbian and Gay Rights in the United States and Canada. London: Routledge.
Snow, David A ., Burke Rochford, Jr., Steven K. Worden , and Robert D. Benford . 1986. “Frame Alignment Processes, Micromobilization, and Movement Participation.” American Sociological Review 51: 464–81.
Solberg, Rorie Spill and Eric N. Waltenburg . 2006. “Why Do Interest Groups Engage the Judiciary? Policy Wishes and Structural Needs.” Social Science Quarterly 87(3): 558–72.
Stienstra, Deborah and Aileen Wight-Felske . 2003. Making Equality: History of Advocacy and Persons with Disabilities in Canada. Concord, ON: Captus Press.
Waddington, Lisa . 1999. “The European Community's Response to Disability.” In Melinda Jones and Lee Ann Basser Marks , eds., Disability, Divers-ability and Legal Change. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
Watters, Colleen . 2003. “History of Advocacy Organizations of the Blind in Canada: Two Stories.” In Deborah Stienstra and Aileen Wight-Felske , eds., Making Equality: History of Advocacy and Persons with Disabilities in Canada. Concord, ON: Captus Press.
Wendell, Susan . 2006. “Toward a Feminist Theory of Disability.” In Lenard J. Davis , ed., The Disability Studies Reader. New York: Routledge.
Williams, Bridget , Phil Copestake , John Eversley , and Bruce Stafford . 2008. Experiences and Expectations of Disabled People. London: Office for Disability Issues.
Wilson, Bruce M . and Juan Carlos Rodríguez Cordero . 2006. “Legal Opportunity Structures and Social Movements: The Effects of Institutional Change on Costa Rican Politics.” Comparative Political Studies 39(3): 325–51.
Wintemute, Robert . 1998. “When Is Pregnancy Discrimination Indirect Sex Discrimination?” Industrial Law Journal 27(1): 23–36.
World Health Organization . 2001. Rethinking Care from the Perspective of Disabled People: Conference Report and Recommendations. Geneva: WHO's Disability and Rehabilitation Team.
Zemans, Frances K . 1983. “Legal Mobilization: The Neglected Role of the Law in the Political System.” American Political Science Review 77(3): 690–703.
Zurcher, Louis A . and Russell L. Curtis . 1973. “A Comparative Analysis of Propositions Describing Social Movement Organizations.” Sociological Quarterly 14(2): 175–88.