New CRISE Book: Affirmative Action in Plural Societies

04 October, 2012

A new book drawing on research by the Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity (CRISE) has been published by Palgrave Macmillan.

Affirmative Action in Plural Societies: International Experiences, edited by Graham Brown, Arnim Langer and Frances Stewart, is part of the Conflict, Inequality and Ethnicity series.

The prospects and problems of affirmative actionare increasingly important issues facing multiethnic countries. Drawing on philosophy, economics and sociology, the book explores the merits and demerits of affirmative action, and explains why affirmative action may be needed in countries facing large inequalities across ethnic, religious or racial groups.

It analyses the origin, nature and consequences of affirmative action in Brazil, South Africa, the United States, Malaysia, Northern Ireland and Nigeria. Evaluating alternatives, it seeks to provide guidance on the design of policies in different circumstances, with the aim of reducing horizontal inequalities, while minimising possible negative consequences.

CRISE was a DFID-funded research centre based at ODID between 2003 and 2010. It explored the role of "horizontal inequalities" (inequalities among salient identity groups) in causing conflict and sought to identify economic, political, social and cultural policies which would promote stable and inclusive multiethnic societies.  It continues to operate as a network.