Interpreting civil rights : early claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Political Science

Content Description

1 online resource (viii, 220 pages) : illustrations (some color), facsimiles

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Julie Novkov

Committee Members

Patricia Strach, Alethia Jones


Civil Rights, Employment Discrimination, Equal Employment Opportunity, Implementation, Social Change, Title VII, Civil rights, African Americans, Women's rights

Subject Categories

Law | Political Science | Public Policy


While scholars have debated the courts' role in protecting minority rights and addressing claims that will lead to social change, government agencies, not courts, are often the first venue individuals approach to make such claims. However, scholars know little about how individuals claiming a new legal right, interest groups urging the enforcement of the right, and the agency responsible for interpreting the right interact to shape the meaning of the right and role of the institution in enforcing the law. I examine how the interactions among these actors established the boundaries and meaning of a new law and influenced the institutional development of a new governmental agency created to enforce the law.

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