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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law [MPECCoL]

Caste Systems

Fernando Hernández Fradejas

Subject(s):
Caste systems — Cultural rights — Discrimination — Ethnic minorities — Religious minorities

Published under the direction of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law.
General Editors: Rainer Grote, Frauke Lachenmann, Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1. The term ‘caste systems’ is a widely used notion in the field of social science research (anthropology, sociology, and political science), but not in the area of constitutional law, with the notable exception of India. There are also other similar constitutional situations which merit highlighting: African American citizens in the United States of America, and post-apartheid South Africa. Constitutional and legal texts, however, do not tend to use the term or notion of ‘caste’, opting for broader concepts such as ‘social origin’, ‘condition or social...
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