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C Barrett (The York Management School)
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20 pages
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In 1993 the Labour Party decided to select some of its parliamentary candidates from women-only shortlists. The aim of this policy was to increase the number of women Labour MPs. This case study questions the fairness of such positive discrimination by looking in detail at Labour''s women-only shortlist policy. In the case study the point of view of men who lose out because of the policy is contrasted with claims about how women have been disadvantaged in electoral politics. Students are thus prompted to consider how rival claims of fairness come into conflict. At the end of the case students are encouraged to role-play a Labour constituency party meeting to decide whether to volunteer to run parliamentary selection using a women-only shortlist. The case would work well in courses in British politics, gender politics or applied political philosophy. It would provide a good introduction to the question of positive discrimination in a one - hour session or could be used over two hours if the focus was on the question of women''s political representation.

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