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Discrimination and politics

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)
Author StojanovićNenad,
Project Racist voters and minority candidates: a conceptual puzzle and an empirical challenge with a focus on the Swiss case
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Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)

Book The Routledge Handbook of the Ethics of Discrimination
Editor , Lippert-Rasmussen Kasper
Publisher Routledge, London
Page(s) 348 - 359
ISBN 978-1138928749
Title of proceedings The Routledge Handbook of the Ethics of Discrimination


Political philosophers and legal theorists working on the concept of discrimination hardly ever mention the sphere of electoral politics (see, e.g., the various essays in Hellman and Moreau 2013; Altman 2015). They mostly refer to discrimination arising in areas such as employment, education and housing (cf. Chapters 25 and 26). And yet, as numerous empirical studies show (see, e.g., Fisher et al. 2015; Street 2014), discrimination is present in politics too. Hence, the aim of this chapter is to elaborate a conceptual roadmap – supported by selected empirical examples – that shall help to address the concept of discrimination in the political–electoral sphere of liberal democracies. To accomplish this I distinguish between three key political actors in representative democracies: voters, political parties and candidates. While they often overlap – in any given election a citizen can be both a voter and a candidate running on a party ballot – it is useful to keep them separated for analytical purposes. Also, I will address discriminations against these three political actors on grounds of morally objectionable and (supposedly) politically irrelevant identity characteristics such as race, ethnicity and gender (cf. Chapters 15 and 16).