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July 16 , 2010

Affirmative Action Matters

Creating opportunities for students around the world


Affirmative Action Matters focuses specifically on affirmative action policies in higher education admissions, the sphere that has been the most controversial in many of the nations that have such policies. It brings together distinguished scholars from diverse nations to examine and discuss the historical, political and philosophical contexts of affirmative action and clarify policy developments to further the meaningful equality of educational opportunity. This unique volume includes both well established and emerging policies from the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia, policies which developed under a variety of political systems and target a range of underrepresented groups, based on race, ethnicity, gender, class, social background, or region.

Accessible and thought provoking case studies of affirmative action demonstrate that such policies are expanding to different countries and target populations. While some countries, such as India, have affirmative action policies that predate those in the United States, affirmative action is a recent development in countries such as Brazil and France.

Legal or political pressures to move away from explicitly race-based policies in several countries have complicated affirmative action and make this assessment of international alternatives particularly timely. New or newly modified policies target a variety of disadvantaged groups, based on geography, class, or caste, in addition to race or sex. International scholars in six countries spanning five continents offer insights into their own countries’ experiences to examine the implications of policy shifts from race toward other categories of disadvantage, to consider best practices in student admission policies, and to assess the future of affirmative action.

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