Race and Racism in International Relations: Confronting the Global Colour Line, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Race and Racism in International Relations

Confronting the Global Colour Line, 1st Edition

Edited by Alexander Anievas, Nivi Manchanda, Robbie Shilliam


218 pages

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Paperback: 9780415724357
pub: 2014-11-17
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pub: 2014-11-21
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International Relations, as a discipline, does not grant race and racism explanatory agency in its conventional analyses, despite such issues being integral to the birth of the discipline. Race and Racism in International Relations seeks to remedy this oversight by acting as a catalyst for remembering, exposing and critically re-articulating the central importance of race and racism in International Relations. 

Focusing especially on the theoretical and political legacy of W.E.B. Du Bois’s concept of the "colour line", the cutting edge contributions in this text provide an accessible entry point for both International Relations students and scholars into the literature and debates on race and racism by borrowing insights from disciplines such as history, anthropology and sociology where race and race theory figures more prominently; yet they also suggest that the field of IR is itself an intellectually and strategic field through which to further confront the global colour line.

Drawing together a wide range of contributors, this much-needed text will be essential reading for students and scholars in a range of areas including Postcolonial studies, race/racism in world politics and international relations theory.


"Race and Racism in International Relations: Confronting the Global Colour Line" is a collective work of seminal scholarship and a valued contribution to academic library International Relations reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

- Willis M. Buhle, Buhle's Bookshelf, Reviewer's Bookwatch

Table of Contents

Alexander Anievas, Nivi Manchanda and Robbie Shilliam – Confronting the Global Colour Line: an Introduction, PART 1: CONCEPTUALISING THE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS OF RACE AND RACISM, 2. Errol HendersonHidden in Plain Sight: Racism in International Relations Theory, 3. Debra Thompson Through, Against, and Beyond the Racial State: The Transnational Stratum of Race, 4. Branwen Gruffydd-Jones‘‘Good Governance’ and ‘State Failure’: the Pseudo-Science of Statesmen in Our Times, 5. John M. Hobson – Re-Embedding the Global Colour Line within Post-1945 International Theory, 6. Srdjan Vucetic – Against Race Taboos: The Global Colour Line in Philosophical Discourse, PART 2: INTERNATIONAL PRACTICES OF RACE AND RACISM, 7. Randolph B. Persaud - Colonial Violence: Race and Gender on the Sugar Plantations of British Guiana, 8. Sankaran Krishna – A Postcolonial Racial/Spatial Order: Gandhi, Ambedkar and the Construction of the International, 9. Richard Seymour – The Cold War, American Anticommunism and the Global ‘Colour Line’, 10. Robert Knox - Race, Racialisation and Rivalry in the International Legal Order, PART 3: REFLECTIONS ON THE GLOBAL COLOUR LINE, 11. David RoedigerWhat Would It Mean to Transform International Relations?, 12. Charles W. Mills Unwriting and Unwhitening the World

About the Editors

Alexander Anievas is the Anna Beigun Warburg Junior Research Fellow at St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford. He is the editor of Marxism and World Politics: Contesting Global Capitalism (Routledge, 2010) and author of the forthcoming manuscript Capital, the State and War: Class Conflict and Geopolitics in the Thirty Years’ Crisis, 1914-1945 (University of Michigan Press). He is a member of the editorial collective Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory.

Nivi Manchanda is a PhD candidate at the department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge. Her dissertation looks at Anglo-American representations of Afghanistan. She is also the editor in chief of the Cambridge Review of International Affairs.

Robbie Shilliam is Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Queen Mary, University of London. He publishes widely on issues to do with race, colonialism and international relations. He is author of The Black Pacific: Anticolonial Struggles and Oceanic Connections (Bloomsbury Academic Press, Forthcoming 2014); and editor of International Relations and Non-Western Thoughts: Imperialism, Colonialism and Investigations of Global Modernity (London: Routledge, 2010). He is chair of the Global Development Section of the International Studies Association (2012-2013), and on the Advisory Board of the Transnational Decolonial Institute.

About the Series


The Series provides a forum for innovative and interdisciplinary work that engages with alternative critical, post-structural, feminist, postcolonial, psychoanalytic and cultural approaches to international relations and global politics. In our first 5 years we have published 60 volumes.

We aim to advance understanding of the key areas in which scholars working within broad critical post-structural traditions have chosen to make their interventions, and to present innovative analyses of important topics. Titles in the series engage with critical thinkers in philosophy, sociology, politics and other disciplines and provide situated historical, empirical and textual studies in international politics.


We are very happy to discuss your ideas at any stage of the project: just contact us for advice or proposal guidelines. Proposals should be submitted directly to the Series Editors:

  • Jenny Edkins (jennyedkins@hotmail.com) and
  • Nick Vaughan-Williams (N.Vaughan-Williams@Warwick.ac.uk).

‘As Michel Foucault has famously stated, "knowledge is not made for understanding; it is made for cutting" In this spirit The Edkins - Vaughan-Williams Interventions series solicits cutting edge, critical works that challenge mainstream understandings in international relations. It is the best place to contribute post disciplinary works that think rather than merely recognize and affirm the world recycled in IR's traditional geopolitical imaginary.’

Michael J. Shapiro, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, USA


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / City Planning & Urban Development
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General