ABSTRACT

Putting law with social equity research may seem an odd combination. The logic for putting them together traces to the specificity of both law and analysis. Issues of fairness and equity tend to be specific to particular fields of public policy, issues of fairness and equity in public education, for example, being rather different than issues of fairness and equity in employment, housing, or taxation. The nature of this policy field specificity is essentially the same in the application of the law to social equity and in the application of analysis and research to social equity. Given the wide range of policy fields and uniqueness and specificity of each field, it is readily evident that the application of social equity to public administration is a vast and very complex body of information and knowledge. The same could be said of applications of efficiency and economy to public administration. In a play on the political truism, “all politics is local,” it could be said that “applications of law to matters of social equity are policy specific,” and “applications of research and analysis to social equity are policy specific.” There are social equity generalizations, of course, but they tend to the abstract and philosophical. Law and research tend to policy specificity.