Justifying affirmative action: Perception and reality

Donald Nicolson, Aileen McHarg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This article surveys developments in United Kingdom law and policy which require, permit or are more accommodating towards, the use of affirmative action. It then considers the various justifications that can be used in support of affirmative action and their philosophical and political strengths and weaknesses. Finally, it advocates a strategic approach to the justification and use of affirmative action, taking account of relevant political, contextual, pragmatic, and practical considerations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Law and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006


  • affirmative action
  • UK law

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