I need a little quick help. I’m teaching a graduate policy analysis class this semester. It is mostly applied welfare economics, public goods, social welfare functionals, discount rates, risk, etc., etc. In other words, standard utilitarian fare. However, I would like to spend one hour on rights.
So, your first response is “1 hour?!!!!” I know. Isn’t public policy all about rights? Well, maybe it should be. But policy analysis, at least as it is usually taught in graduate school, is about tradeoffs–which don’t fit too well into the world of rights, obligations and imperatives.
So here is what I need: a good but not too long (book chapter length) article that talks about rights and public policy. A focus on how rights can be incorporated—in a practical, useful way—into a larger utilitarian framework (rather than a Kantian rant against utilitarianism) is preferred, though not necessarily confined to just rule-utilitarianism. Something Epstein-ish, perhaps, would be good. I’m not satisfied with what I was using (a sort of philosophically taxonomy of rights, duties and obligations), so I need something quick.