Women, Quotas, and Constitutions: A comparative study of affirmative action for women under American, German and European Community and international law

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9789041197085: Women, Quotas, and Constitutions: A comparative study of affirmative action for women under American, German and European Community and international law
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This new academic study provides an interestinginsight into the German and American, as well as international and European Community rules which encourage and limit affirmative action taken by States. This comparison of the legal orders of the United States and Germany reveals an intriguing paradox. Affirmative action for women in America has existed longer and is more widespread and more institutionalzed, although the spirit of the American Constitution, which stresses the equality and freedom of individuals, conflicts with such policies more than the German Constitution. The German Constitution does contain a gender-specific equality clause, which can be interpreted to allow quotas as a form of preferential treatment. German constitutional laws also includes the principle that the state has affirmative duties, the principle of the socialstate (Sozialstaat),and the merit principle for hiring and promotion within the civil service. The American constitution on the other hand establishes a principle of containment, and does not acknowledge positive governmental duties. The discrepancy between policy and constitutional principle suggests that the formulation of policy is driven less by constitutional principles than by exterior elements such as the political and social situation, which apparently have led the United States to implement affirmative action despite a relatively weak constitutional basis and Germany to refrain from implementing affirmative action despite relatively strong constitutional support.

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