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The Trouble with Inclusion

59 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2014 Last revised: 10 Mar 2014

Yuvraj Joshi

Yale University - Law School

Date Written: January 18, 2014


Attempts are being made to include members of excluded groups in societal institutions. Inclusion has been proposed as the solution to the injustice caused by exclusion. Yet, inclusion does not always achieve justice and might sometimes perpetuate injustice. This Article provides a framework for understanding inclusion that may fail to achieve social justice and uses this framework to assess the inclusion of lesbians and gays within marriage (marriage equality) and of women and minorities within organizations (organizational diversity). The former case study examines the legal and social movement for recognizing same-sex marriage while the latter engages a range of contemporary debates, including workplace diversity, gays in the military, women in armed combat and gender mainstreaming at the UN. Each shows that inclusion is less likely to achieve social justice where it misconstrues injustice, maintains the status quo, decouples from justice, legitimizes the institution or rationalizes injustice.

Keywords: Inclusion, Exclusion, Social Justice, Equality, Diversity, Marriage

Suggested Citation

Joshi, Yuvraj, The Trouble with Inclusion (January 18, 2014). Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law, Vol. 21, No. 2, 2014. Available at SSRN:

Yuvraj Joshi (Contact Author)

Yale University - Law School ( email )

127 Wall St
New Haven, CT 06511

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