Race in the Shadow of Law: State Violence in Contemporary Europe, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Race in the Shadow of Law

State Violence in Contemporary Europe, 1st Edition

By Eddie Bruce-Jones


196 pages

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Race in the Shadow of Law offers a critical legal analysis of European responses to institutional racism. It draws connections between contemporary legal knowledge practices and colonial systems of thought, arguing that many people of colour experience the law as a part of a racial problem, rather than a solution, to racial injustice. Based on a critical legal ethnography of anti-racism work in Europe, and with an emphasis on the German context, the book positions Black and anti-racist perspectives at the centre, rather than the margins, of critically thinking through the intersection of race and law. Combining this ethnography with comparative legal analysis, discourse analysis and critical race theory, the book develops a critical discussion of the European legal frameworks aimed at regulating racism, and particularly institutional racism, in policy and policing. In linking this critique to the transformative potential of social movements, however, it goes on to examine the strategic and creative possibility of disrupting conventional modes of engaging, and resisting, law.


"At this moment of crisis, Eddie Bruce-Jones offers his masterful examination of Black Germans’ multi-faceted engagements with racism and law. In Race in the Shadow of Law: state violence in contemporary Europe, Bruce-Jones deftly weaves together legal analysis in the tradition of CRT with extensive ethnographic data and observant-participant reflection. Using multiple apertures, Race in the Shadow of Law manages to capture a tremendously nuanced and complete picture of the interactions of race and the law as they affect, and are affected by, Black Germans. Towards this end, Bruce-Jones centres the creative, versatile resistance activities of Black Germans who constantly navigate the reach and limits of law as a tool of racial ordering in Germany, and in Europe more broadly." -Maryam S. Griffin, 59(2) Race & Class, Oct 2017, 115-120.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Some Remarks on Ethnography, Race, Law and Unruliness Part 1. Between the Lines and at the Margins Chapter 1. Structural Racism and the Law in Europe Chapter 2. Transgression: Law and the Choreography of Race and Place Part 2. Colouring out of Bounds: Thinking Beyond Law Chapter 3. Smoke and Mirrors: Performing in the Theatre of the Court Chapter 4. The Politics of Remembrance: Narrating State Violence Chapter 5. Gender, Colonial History and Contemporary Social Movements Part 3. Unruly Work on Race and the Law Chapter 6. Towards a European Anti-Racism Epilogue: Living with the Dead

About the Author

Eddie Bruce-Jones is based at Birkbeck School of Law, London, UK.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Criminal Law / General
LAW / Jurisprudence
LAW / Discrimination
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Minority Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Black Studies (Global)