Anti-discrimination law and policy – reflections on the challenge of contradictory roots for ad-dressing intersectional inequalities (European perspectives)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited or keynote talk at national or international conference


This paper addresses the question whether and how the contradictory roots of anti-discrimination law and policy impact on its capacity to address intersectional inequalities. While discrimination is a global problem, specific emanations of anti-discrimination law and policy are always contingent on the conditions which led to its adaptation in the local, national or regional context. This paper fo-cuses on European Union anti-discrimination law as a practical application. The paper first connects the main aims of EU anti-discrimination law in an employment context with two contradictory roots of its anti-discrimination law: the social movements against discrimination in society on the one hand, and minority protection regimes on the other hand. It establishes the differences in focus of anti-discrimination law regimes derived from each of those roots, by contrasting the protection of individual rights with a focus on asymmetry on the one hand, and the protection of groups via col-lective or individual rights on the other hand. Finally, it asks the question how all this relates to in-tersectional discrimination cases, considering recent case law of the European Court of Justice con-cerning intersectionality. The conclusion offers an outlook on future uses of intersectional inequali-ties by supporters and opponents of antidiscrimination law.
Period24 Jun 2019
Event titleA Global Conversation about Labour Law : Labour Law Research Network Conference
Event typeConference
Conference number4
LocationValparaiso, Chile
Degree of RecognitionInternational