Tore Vincents Olsen

Different conceptions of anti-discrimination: an analytical framework

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In social science and legal studies there is a lack of clarity in the categorisation of different national anti-discrimination policies. To remedy this situation, the article develops an analytical framework for categorising anti-discrimination policies. It suggests that it is useful to distinguish between assimilationist, liberal and multiculturalist anti-discrimination policies and demonstrates the usefulness of the analytical framework by analysing the Danish anti-discrimination policy. The categorisation of anti-discrimination policies as assimilationist, liberal or multiculturalist depends on the areas (e.g. labour market, education, private services) covered by individual grounds of discrimination (e.g. race, ethnicity, religion) and on how these grounds are interpreted by legislators and in the legal practice. On this basis, Danish anti-discrimination policy is found to be predominantly assimilationist with strong liberal elements in the labour market regulation and with few marginal elements of multiculturalism in the regulation of private schools and in the political representation of ethnic minorities.
TidsskriftNordisk Tidsskrift for Menneskerettigheter
Sider (fra-til)330-52
StatusUdgivet - 2011


  • discrimination, assimilation, liberalism, multiculturalism, policy analysis, Denmark, Europeanization, European Union

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