Explaining variation in the use of European litigation strategies: European community law and British gender equality policy

Karen J. Alter, Jeannette Vargas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations

Abstract

Through the examination of one of the most successful cases of a European Community (EC) law litigation strategy, this article develops a general framework for understanding when and how the EC legal system will be successfully used by domestic groups to challenge national policy. The authors show how the European legal system actually shifted the domestic balance of power in favor of equality actors, allowing a previously weak domestic group to influence the United Kingdom's gender equality policy at the height of Conservative Party rule. Expanding beyond the British case, the article develops a series of hypotheses about when the EC legal tool is likely to be used by groups to influence national policy, hypotheses that could account for cross-national variation in the impact of European Court of Justice jurisprudence on domestic policy in areas outside of equality policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)452-482
Number of pages31
JournalComparative Political Studies
Volume33
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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