Affirmative Action: A Comparative Study

In dealing with diversity and difference, many countries have moved from the relatively passive idea of non-discrimination to a more pro-active strategy of affirmative action (AA). AA measures as a strategy to achieve equality has been adopted in several demographically diverse countries. For the purpose of this project, we have placed the focus on a number of countries of the global South, namely South Africa, Nigeria, India, Malaysia, Brazil, Mexico, Fiji and Israel. The choice of jurisdictions was informed by two considerations. The first relates to the dearth of studies on affirmative action in these jurisdictions. In the second place, affirmative action in the countries under review cover a range of different beneficiary groups, namely women (South Africa, Mexico, Nigeria, India and Israel), disadvantaged groups based on race/colour (South Africa and Brazil), disadvantaged minorities based on religion and nationality (Israel), disadvantaged classes or castes (India) and disadvantaged ethnic groups (Nigeria, Malaysia and Fiji). This will enable the researchers to study the impact of affirmative action in very different contexts and to determine the advantages and disadvantages of using gender, race, religion, nationality, caste (or class) and ethnicity as the basis of redress measures.

Project leader(s):
  • Ockert Dupper (Stellenbosch)
  • Kamala Sankaran (Delhi)
STIAS fellow(s):
  • Sir Bob Hepple (Cambridge)
  • Hwok-Aun Lee (Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
  • Alexander Graser (Regensburg)
  • Tzehainesh Teklè (International Labour Organisation, Turin, Italy)
  • Ingo Sarlet (Catholic U Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil)
  • Miguel Carbonell (Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico)
  • Moshe Cohen-Eliya (Academic Center of Law and Business, Ramat Gan, Israel)
  • Yash Pal Ghai (Katiba Institute, Kenya)
  • Jill Cottrell (Katiba Institute, Kenya)
  • Chioma Agomo (Lagos, Nigeria)
Publication(s):

Equality in the Workplace – Ockert Dupper and Kamala Sankaran (editors). SUN MeDIA (in preparation)