Race‐Conscious Districting in the USA

Anne Phillips

in The Politics of Presence

Published in print October 1998 | ISBN: 9780198294153
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600098 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Political Theory

 Race‐Conscious Districting in the USA

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Civil rights litigation in the USA successfully interpreted the 1965 Voting Rights Act as implying the right of minority voters to elect the candidates of their choice. This gave the impetus to ‘race‐conscious districting’, which created voting districts in which minority citizens (primarily Black and Latino) formed a voting majority. This chapter explores the success of this in raising the proportion of black representatives but also the problems this mechanism has generated. It uses this case study to argue the importance of combining a politics of ideas with a politics of presence.

Keywords: Black; civil rights; Latino; minority representation; political representation; politics of presence; race‐conscious districting; USA; voting; Voting Rights Act

Chapter.  11806 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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