State, Difference, and Diversity: Toward a Path of Expanded Democracy and Gender Equality

Levy Economics Institute Working Paper No. 493

23 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2007

See all articles by Rania Antonopoulos

Rania Antonopoulos

Bard College - The Levy Economics Institute

Francisco Cos-Montiel

Gender Institute, The London School of Economics

Date Written: March 2007

Abstract

The centrality of the state in promoting gender equality is generally acknowledged, but a perplexing and complex issue confronts us: should the state treat men and women in identical ways, or should it legislate and enforce policies that are aware of gender differences? In other words, should the state be gender-blind or gender-sensitive? Gender, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation, ideological, economic, political, and cultural dimensions represent diversity among citizens. This paper argues that if the goal of the state is to promote democratic participation for all, a distinction must be drawn between socioeconomic characteristics that signify difference and those that manifest inequalities. The former require a politics of acceptance and recognition and policies to match, leading to equal treatment for all despite differences, while the latter necessitate interventions that remedy or remove structural elements that result in inequalities. The authors suggest that such a framework is useful in that it lends itself to a better understanding of gender-based asymmetries.

Keywords: state, inequality, difference, citizenship, social exclusion, gender, poverty

JEL Classification: H1, E61, I3, J16

Suggested Citation

Antonopoulos, Rania and Cos-Montiel, Francisco, State, Difference, and Diversity: Toward a Path of Expanded Democracy and Gender Equality (March 2007). Levy Economics Institute Working Paper No. 493. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=975685 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.975685

Rania Antonopoulos (Contact Author)

Bard College - The Levy Economics Institute ( email )

Blithewood
Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-5000
United States
1-845-758-7717 (Phone)
1-845-758-1149 (Fax)

Francisco Cos-Montiel

Gender Institute, The London School of Economics ( email )

United Kingdom

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
99
Abstract Views
702
rank
271,378
PlumX Metrics