Rights, equality, and democracy : the shift from quotas to parity in Latin America
Author(s)PISCOPO, Jennifer M.
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AbstractSeven Latin American countries—Ecuador, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama—have recently shifted from quota laws to parity regimes. This paper offers the first scholarly examination of the discourses underlying this parity shift, exploring how proponents frame and justify the measure in these seven cases. I find that Latin America’s parity advocates appeal to universal human rights and the equality of outcomes (rather than the equality of opportunities); in doing so, they establish parity as a prerequisite of the democratic state. This framing is further legitimated by court decisions validating the constitutionality of affirmative action. I conclude by arguing that these discourses have significant policy implications: parity will continue to diffuse rapidly across Latin America.