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Research Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences
Year : 2017, Volume : 8, Issue : 2
First page : ( 151) Last page : ( 158)
Print ISSN : 0975-6795. Online ISSN : 2321-5828.
Article DOI : 10.5958/2321-5828.2017.00021.3

Can affirmative action policies be justified

Sharma Bhavna

Centre for the study of discrimination and exclusion, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi

Corresponding Author: Bhavna Sharma Ph. D. Scholar, Centre for the Study of Discrimination and Exclusion, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi

Online published on 22 September, 2017.


This paper tries to delve into the traditional domain of justification of affirmative action policies and mostly favors the need for having them. Affirmative action policies are an integral component of governmental policies, which concern bringing development in society, no social setting is homogenous and needs proper intervention of authorities and those responsible for allocation of resources to bring about a holistic development. Affirmative action policies are intended to cater to the needs of those who had been historically at the receiving end of all forms of discriminatory activities, but these policies have met with stiff resistance also but how can we justify them will be discussed in this chapter, three important strands will be focused upon starting with the equality of opportunity argument, moving to the compensatory justice argument and finally the diversity argument. In this paper efforts have been made to not stick to any absolutist stand, rather the arguments stand for why the affirmative action policies are justified and how one cannot do away with them, the three areas of equality of opportunity, compensatory justice and the diversity strands a+ are backed by valid reasons to support the policies



Affirmative action, Justice, Equality, Race, Discrimination.


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