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Routledge Handbook of Constitutional Law by Cheryl Saunders, Thomas Fleiner, Mark Tushnet

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25Affirmative action

Robert J Cottrol and Megan Davis

25.1 Introduction

Affirmative action refers to a range of governmental policies designed to foster greater opportunities for racial and ethnic groups that have traditionally been victims of discrimination. These policies are also frequently extended to women and to individuals who have suffered from socio-economic disadvantage. Affirmative action has generally been less controversial when based on class or gender instead of race. Affirmative action policies have taken the form of quotas for members of previously disadvantaged groups, preferential weighting of applicants for employment and university admissions and governmental pressure to increase recruitment of members of groups that have ...

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