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Title: A transformative approach to anti-discrimination law in Latin America
Author: Coddou McManus, Alberto Raul
ISNI:       0000 0004 7659 9435
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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In Latin America, a region with particular problems and challenges, anti-discrimination legal provisions have been rapidly growing, although without much scholarly attention. Recent reforms can be framed as mere improvements of the right to equality, as guarantees required to smooth market interactions or, alternatively, as cynical progress that prevent more radical understandings. Against these approaches, this thesis provides an account of the emancipatory potential of anti-discrimination law (ADL) in Latin America and its place within progressive political projects. Rather than providing a doctrinal reconstruction, a complete theoretical account, or a detailed legal framework of this field of law, this research builds on contemporary constitutional debates and critical social theories to see how the practice of ADL in Latin America provides 'spaces of anticipatory illumination' of what a transformative account of ADL would look like. For this purpose, I develop two main argumentative lines, which structures this work in two parts. According to the first, we need a constitutional conception of ADL that can make sense of the recent constitutional (trans)formations in the region, committed at tackling discrimination. Taking into account the raw materials we have at hand, the vast repertoire of anti-discrimination provisions enacted in the last decades, it develops a constitutional conception of ADL that can create the conditions for an effective enforcement of the generous anti-discrimination commitments. The second argumentative line rests on the need to advance a critical social theory of ADL in Latin America. Without it, the first argumentative line is doomed to fail. In concrete terms, this second line rests on the need to critically understand the phenomenon under study, in this case, discrimination in Latin America, and the role of law in addressing it. By looking at the recent practice of ADL in Latin America through the lens of a critical social theory, we can understand the strengths and limits, the opportunities and dangers that derive from this emergent field of law. Drawing mainly on the work of Nancy Fraser, I argue that ADL in Latin America could be an example of 'nonreformist reform', which 'changes more than the specific institutional features they explicitly target', and 'alter the terrain upon which later struggles will be waged.' A 'normative reconstruction' of recent reforms and practice in ADL allows us to develop six principles that set the case for a transformative approach suitable for the challenges the region is currently facing: state intervention, group dimension, challenging stance, socio-economic lens, political axis, legal empowerment/mobilization. In particular, this research starts from existing antidiscrimination provisions in the region, and seeks a roadmap of further legal reforms within a transformative approach.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available