Discrimination: Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives

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Spring 2013 Seminar
Meets: Th 5:00pm - 7:00pm in Hauser Hall Room 101
2 classroom credits

This seminar will probe the theoretical underpinnings of U.S. antidiscrimination doctrine through a comparative lens. A wide range of legal sources from Europe, South Africa, Canada, and other jurisdictions will be read alongside U.S. cases and scholarly literature to develop a transnational understanding of discrimination. A major theme will be the complex dynamics between legal prohibitions of discrimination and public policies implementing the legal guarantees of equality. Topics will include formal and substantive equality, the globalization of antidiscrimination law, anticlassification and antisubordination theories of non-discrimination, the future of disparate impact or “indirect discrimination” doctrine, litigation versus regulation as modes of enforcement, the influence of social movements, affirmative action and “positive discrimination,” gender parity quotas, and the significance of distinctive histories (e.g. slavery, feudalism, apartheid, the Holocaust) and constitutional traditions in defining discrimination.

Subject Areas: Constitutional Law & Civil Rights , Family, Gender & Children's Law , International, Comparative & Foreign Law .