University of Pittsburgh

Mirit Eyal-Cohen Speaks at the Israeli Law & Society Association Annual Conference

Publish Date/Time: 
January 22, 2012

Professor Mirit Eyal-Cohen participated in the 2011 Israeli Law & Society Association Annual Conference held at Bar-Ilan University in December. The theme of this year’s conference was “Laws of Their Own: Community, Identities, and Boundaries.”  For a panel called “Minority Groups, Labor and Welfare,” Professor Eyal-Cohen presented a paper entitled “The Advancement of National Minorities through Small Business Regulation." Here is an abstract:

It is no secret that minorities find it harder to move up the economic ladder and achieve economic independence. They are often refused work and have difficulties obtaining loans from traditional lenders because they are considered to have a greater risk of failure. An important mechanism the government can utilize to promote minority groups is through small business regulation. Lately, supporters of "reverse discrimination" and race-neutrality ideology in the U.S. succeeded in convincing several local and state governments to eliminate their affirmative action programs. This paper aims to present a unique federal reaction to contemporary post-racialism trends that sought to end the need for laws and policies that deal with race issues. The federal government responded to these developments by increasing small business federal assistance programs, providing grants, education prospects, and job opportunities to help minorities and women through small business regulation. Accordingly, government agencies altered their approach to small businesses, shifting from a neutral stance to fostering minority business ownership. They founded the Women's Speaker's Bureau and the Office of Minority Business Enterprise to help blacks, Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Native Americans and others become businesspersons and offered incentives for corporations to locate plants in urban slums. Boosting minority hiring within government agencies, investigating racial discrimination and developing minority programs are some of the paths taken to promote those disadvantaged groups in society. Small business regulation became a government tool to counter the effect of local race-neutrality developments and to improve minority’s economic rights and participation in the community.

 

Program for the Annual Conference is here.

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