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Aspirational legalism and the role of the equality and human rights commission in equality policy

Mabbett, Deborah (2008) Aspirational legalism and the role of the equality and human rights commission in equality policy. The Political Quarterly 79 (1), pp. 45-52. ISSN 0032-3179.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-923X.2008.00901.x

Abstract

This paper looks at the role of the EHRC in the wider context of measures to promote equality in the welfare state, and highlights two major problems. First, social policy uses categories which are derived from empirical social analysis and processes of policy design, while anti-discrimination and equality 'grounds' (such as gender and ethnic origin) are drawn from the mutual recognition and political mobilisation of groups. The intersection of these two epistemologies can produce progressive social reforms, but it can also result in sterile political competition between groups. Second, equality law makes rights-based claims which are deliberately abstracted from the problem of aggregating rights into a manageable set of claims on scarce resources. This may be a strength in pursuing remedies for individual injustice, but it is a weakness in advancing wider ambitions to combat disadvantage affecting large social groups.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Rights, equality, welfare state, identity politics, categorisation, resources
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Politics
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2011 15:19
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:18
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/2160

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