Aug 07, 2020  
2012 - 2013 Graduate Catalog 
2012 - 2013 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

LAW 354 - Law, Equality & Soc Excl

The aim of this course is to provide a general overview of of the interface between the law, the Constitutional mandate for achieving substantive equality and justice, and social dynamics in contemporary India. It examines how, in a society characterized by considerable inequality and hierarchy on the basis of caste, class, ethnicity and religion, the law operates to maintain the status quo but is also is used as an instrument to challenge inequality by marginalized social groups and by socially-engaged activists. The limits of the use of the law as an instrument of achieving substantive social justice and equality are also explored. This course will familiarize students with a range of Indian laws and Constitutional provisions that often work in contradictory ways from the perspective of the marginalized. Although the course deals specifically with the Indian case, insights that it provides will prove useful for making cross-country comparisons and for understanding the dilemmas related to the role of the law in relation to socially-excluded groups in many other countries. The course will be divided into five or six sessions. The first, introductory, session familiarizes students with the reality and magniture of social exclusion in contemporary India. The second and third sessions discuss various anti-discriminatory laws and Constitutional provisions related to socially-excluded groups, as lowa castes, indigenous tribala peoples and religious minorities. The fourth session looks at the actual impact and achievements of these laws and Constitutional provisions and of various state-sponsored affirmative-action and other such measures for marginalized groups. The fifth and final session frames the various issues discussed in the previous sessions in a cross-country perspective. A 10-12 page paper will be required to be submitted by email within two weeks after the conclusion of the course.