Affirmative Action: Its Nature and Dynamics

  • Ralph PremdasEmail author
Reference work entry


The incidence of affirmative action policies has occurred most frequently in internally heterogeneous states marked by deep ethno-cultural divisions and in which one of the ethno-cultural communities tended to dominate the rest. The response has led to the adoption of affirmative action programs to rectify old wrongs and eradicate injustices and extend benefits and provide special preferences toward establishing a new, just, and equal society. Alternative views of equality and justice undergird much of the controversy over affirmative action. Justice and equality are commonly shared calls evoked by both proponents and opponents of affirmative action. However, there are no universal and generally accepted set of values which define justice and equality. Lacking commensurability, rival meanings are almost always caught up in contentious struggles over power and resources in affirmative action programs.


Affirmative action Injustice Inequality Merit Preference Ethno-cultural division Domination Redistribution 


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© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of the West IndiesSt. AugustineTrinidad and Tobago

Section editors and affiliations

  • Radomir Compel

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