Chapter

Tyranny of the Minority? Institutional Targets and Advocacy Strategies

in Affirmative Advocacy

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780226777405
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226777450 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226777450.003.0005
Tyranny of the Minority? Institutional Targets and Advocacy Strategies

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This chapter explores the use of the courts by advocacy organizations and evaluates whether the political institutions that are targeted by these organizations vary by issue type. It then assesses the consequences of this variation for the resulting quality of representation afforded to intersectionally disadvantaged groups as well as for concerns about the use of the courts to bring about social change. Organizations representing weak and politically marginalized groups use a wide range of tactics to advocate on behalf of their constituents. Each branch of government presents advocacy organizations. Variations in organizations' institutional targeting are strongly linked to the relationship between the majoritarianism of each branch and the issue type under consideration. In general, the advocacy organizations representing marginalized groups do not rely heavily on the courts to advocate for social change or to protect minority rights.

Keywords: advocacy organizations; political institutions; social change; government; majoritarianism; marginalized groups; minority rights

Chapter.  17302 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

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