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The politics of preference [electronic resource] : democratic institutions and affirmative action in the United States and India /
Sunita Parikh.
Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, c1997.
ix, 230 p. ; 24 cm.
0472107453 (cloth : acid-free paper)
More Details
Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, c1997.
0472107453 (cloth : acid-free paper)
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Introduction -- The context of affirmative-action policy development -- The precursors of affirmative-action policy -- Affirmative action under Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon -- Affirmative action under Carter, Reagan, and Bush -- Early reservation policy development in India -- Reservation policies under party competition -- Conclusion.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 215-225) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1997-08:
The design of this research on affirmative action programs in India and the US appears to embrace highly ambitious theoretical purposes that extend beyond the usual goals of policy analysis. The study tries to compare both countries and issues through the use of two methodologies: comparative historical analysis and rational choice techniques. Although the former approach yields a rich and useful description of the development of comparable policies in these nations, the latter provides merely a series of simple statements divorced from the text that contribute little to major conclusions. This orientation, in fact, seems to detract from the substantive importance of civil rights issues that might have been more appropriately examined by exploring modest objectives such as assessments of effectiveness or compliance with these policies. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. H. Hahn; University of Southern California
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Choice, August 1997
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Main Description
Sunita Parikh examines the history and fate of affirmative action programs in two ethnically heterogeneous democracies, the United States and India. Affirmative action programs in the United States represent a controversial policy about which the American public feel at best ambivalence and at worst hostility, while in India the expansion of reservation policies in recent years has led to riots and contributed to the fall of governments. And yet these policies were not particularly controversial when they were introduced. How the policy traveled from these auspicious beginnings to its current predicament can best be understood, according to Parikh, by exploring the changing political conditions under which it was introduced, expanded, and then challenged. Although they are in many respects very different countries, India and the United States are important countries in which to study the implementation of ascriptive policies like affirmative action, according to Parikh. They are both large, heterogeneous societies with democratic political systems in which previously excluded groups were granted benefits by the majorities that had historically oppressed them. Parikh argues that these policies were the product of democratic politics--which required political parties to mobilize existing groups as voters--and the ethnically heterogeneous nature of Indian and U.S. society--where ethnic markers are particularly salient sources of identification as groups. Affirmative action in both countries was introduced because it could be used to solidify and expand electoral coalitions by giving benefits to defined minority groups, according to Parikh. As the policy became better known, it became more disliked by non-targeted groups, and it was no longer an appeal which was cost free for politicians. This book will be of interest to social scientists concerned with race and ethnic relations and with the comparative study of political and social systems. Sunita Parikh is Assistant Professor of Political Science, Columbia University.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 1
The Context of Affirmative-Action Policy Developmentp. 31
The Precursors of Affirmative-Action Policyp. 59
Affirmative Action under Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixonp. 87
Affirmative Action under Carter, Reagan, and Bushp. 121
Early Reservation Policy Development in Indiap. 145
Reservation Policies under Party Competitionp. 169
Conclusionp. 193
Notesp. 209
Bibliographyp. 215
Indexp. 227
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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