How do societies achieve cohesion in countries where the population is formed of different racial and ethnic groups? Although the debate continues, one constant is the agreement on the need for equality for all citizens of such societies. These egalitarian principles are believed by many to underpin a stable and just society. The question then arises of how best to achieve this equality? This book looks at the policy of affirmative action as it has evolved in different parts of the world: Australia, Canada, Great Britain, India, Northern Ireland, South Africa and the United States. The detailed juxtaposition of country case-studies allows readers to make comparisons and highlight disparities. Although affirmative action has operated in favour of various segments of the population, this book concentrates on the policy with regard to racial/ethnic groups. It explores the origin of the concept: where and how the policy emerged and what form it has taken, in order to open up the debate on this highly sensitive area of social policy.
Table of Contents
Contents: Foreword; Introduction, Elaine Kennedy-Dubourdieu; Affirmative action in the United States, Jo Ann Ooiman Robinson; Challenging systemic racism in Canada, Colleen Sheppard; Affirmative action in India, Ashwini Deshpande; From periphery to mainstream: affirmative action in Britain, Elaine Kennedy-Dubourdieu; Affirmative action in Northern Ireland, Bronagh Hinds and CiarÃ¡n O'Kelly; Australian multicultural equity and fair go, Martine Piquet; Affirmative action in South Africa: the limits of history, Beverly Thaver; Conclusion, Elaine Kennedy-Dubourdieu; Bibliography; Index.
'Affirmative action is a highly controversial issue today and many support it or dismiss it without grasping the ins and outs of the policy. By providing the ground rules and the basic markers of time, terminology and context this book helps the reader understand this complex and extremely emotive question. It is a precious contribution to the present debate on race relations.' Michel Prum, University of Paris 7, France 'This book looks at affirmative action in seven countires (Australia, Canada, Britain, USA, India, Northern Ireland and South Africa), concentrating on the ethnic and racial aspects of policy...Albie Sachs describes the core feature of affirmative action as "involv[ing] focussed and deliberate governmental intervention that takes account of the reality of race to deal with and overcome the problems associated with race" (p. x), a theme which runs through the different case studies...the combination of the different cases makes this a useful book to anyone wanting to learn the history of affirmative action policies in a variety of countries, or to those interested in inequality and discrimination' Political Studies Review