The discipline of International Relations (IR) pays little attention to race and racism, despite their historical prominence and their pervasiveness in everyday life. After the achievements of decolonization and civil rights movements, much scholarly work has replaced race with ethnicity and relegated racism to the past and domestic politics. Yet there are good reasons to think that race is still relevant in international politics, and while it is intertwined with adjacent concepts such as gender, class, and ethnicity, it is not reducible to them. This bibliography reviews flourishing research on race and international politics on the margins of IR, other subfields of political science, and in adjacent fields, such as African American studies, critical legal studies, critical race studies, philosophy, sociology, and diplomatic, imperial, and colonial histories. The bibliography starts with a discussion of general overviews, which include broad studies of race in international politics and foreign policy, intellectual histories of race and racism, and philosophical and sociological theories of race. The next section includes studies that critique the marginalization of race in IR, draw attention to racist concepts and assumptions in the discipline, and identify promising ways to employ race to shed light on various international problems. To facilitate further conversation between race and mainstream IR, the remainder of the bibliography is organized along central topics in the discipline: race, international cooperation, and peace; racism and war; race and international law, international organizations, and human rights; the “second image reversed” and the civil rights movement; race and foreign policy; racism and imperialism; race, immigration, and the global economy; and race, nation, and state.
This section includes three types of contributions, most of which go beyond International Relations (IR) and political science. The first category examines the role of race in international politics and foreign policy. Lauren 1996 is perhaps the most influential overview of the role of race in international politics. It is appropriate as an undergraduate or graduate textbook. With five volumes, Krenn 1998 is the most comprehensive collection of essays on race and US foreign policy. A second category of studies offers (intellectual) histories of race and racism. Fredrickson 2002 is an excellent succinct survey of the emergence of racism in the modern West. Greer, et al. 2007 expands on Fredrickson to provide erudite analyses of the emergence of race and racism in Renaissance Europe in the context of global imperialism. Contra the conventional wisdom espoused by Fredrickson 2002 and Greer, et al. 2007 that racism is a modern invention, Isaac 2004 contends that racism, or at least proto-racism, was invented in the ancient world. Hall 2011 complements this literature, which is heavily focused on the West, by exploring the history of race in Muslim West Africa. One’s assessment of when exactly race and racism emerged in history is not independent from one’s theory of race. A third category of studies address theories of race. Glasgow 2009 is a clear and well-organized philosophical discussion of these theories, perhaps most importantly highlighting how ontological questions (Is race real? What is it made of?) are connected to normative questions (Should we eliminate or conserve racial discourse and thought?). Golash-Boza 2015 is a comprehensive critical study of crucial racial themes in the United States and beyond. It is also useful as a textbook. Back and Solomos 2008 is the most cited reader that brings together prominent racial theories, primarily from sociology.
Back, Les, and John Solomos, ed. Theories of Race and Racism: A Reader. 2d ed. New York: Routledge, 2008.
A collection of essays from prominent race scholars, mainly from sociology. The main themes included are social theory, racism and anti-racism, colonialism, feminism, identity, and changing boundaries and spaces.
Fredrickson, George M. Racism: A Short History. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002.
An insightful and accessible survey of the emergence of racism in the West from its origins in medieval anti-Semitism.
Glasgow, Joshua. A Theory of Race. New York: Routledge, 2009.
A clear and systematic philosophical analysis of central debates in race scholarship. These include questions about whether race is real, whether it is biological or cultural, and whether we should eliminate or conserve racial discourse and thought.
Golash-Boza, Tanya Maria. Race and Racisms: A Critical Approach. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.
A comprehensive critical study of crucial racial themes in the United States and beyond. It interrogates the idea of race and types of racisms, structural racism and inequalities, racialized immigration policies, and race, health, and the environment. It is appropriate as a textbook (particularly the brief edition).
Greer, Margaret R., Walter D. Mignolo, and Maureen Quilligan, eds. Rereading the Black Legend: The Discourses of Religious and Racial Difference in the Renaissance Empires. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.
A rich collection of studies of early modern imperialisms. It illuminates Renaissance Europe’s invention of race and racism, which combined religious and color-coded elements.
Hall, Bruce S. A History of Race in Muslim West Africa, 1600–1960. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2011.
Documents the history of race in Muslim West Africa, which has important current implications for conflict in the region.
Isaac, Benjamin H. The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004.
Challenges conventional wisdom by arguing that racism is not a modern invention. Racism, or at least proto-racism, was common in ancient Greece and Rome.
Krenn, Michael L., ed. Race and US Foreign Policy from the Colonial Period to the Present. New York: Garland, 1998.
A comprehensive five-volume collection of essays on race and US foreign policy.
Lauren, Paul Gordon. Power and Prejudice: The Politics and Diplomacy of Racial Discrimination. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1996.
This is perhaps the most influential overview of the role of race in international politics. It touches on the historical antecedents of race and racism, slavery, immigration exclusion, imperialism, the Holocaust, decolonization, South African apartheid, and the politics of race at the United Nations. Appropriate as an undergraduate or graduate textbook.
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- Academic Theories of International Relations Since 1945
- Arab-Israeli Wars
- Arab-Israeli Wars, 1967-1973, The
- Arms Control
- Arms Races
- Arms Trade
- Asylum Policies
- Authoritarian Regimes
- Balance of Power Theory
- Bargaining Theory of War
- Challenge of Communism, The
- China and Japan
- China's Defense Policy
- China's Foreign Policy
- Civil Resistance
- Civil Society in the European Union
- Cold War, The
- Conflict Behavior and the Prevention of War
- Conflict Management
- Countermeasures in International Law
- Criminal Law, International
- Critical Theory of International Relations
- Cuban Missile Crisis, The
- Cultural Diplomacy
- Cyber Security
- Cyber Warfare
- Demobilization, Post World War I
- Democracies and World Order
- Democracy and Conflict
- Democracy in World Politics
- Deterrence Theory
- Diplomacy, History of
- Diplomacy, Public
- Disaster Diplomacy
- Drone Warfare
- Eastern Front (World War I)
- Economics, International
- Embedded Liberalism
- Emerging Powers and BRICS
- Empirical Testing of Formal Models
- Energy and International Security
- Epidemic Diseases and their Effects on History
- Ethics and Morality in International Relations
- Ethnicity in International Relations
- European Migration Policy
- European Security and Defense Policy, The
- European Union as an International Actor
- European Union, International Relations of the
- Fascism, The Challenge of
- Feminist Security Studies
- Food Security
- Forecasting in International Relations
- Foreign Policy, Theories of
- French Empire, 20th-Century
- From Club to Network Diplomacy
- Future of NATO
- Game Theory and Interstate Conflict
- Gender and Terrorism
- Genocide, Politicide, and Mass Atrocities Against Civilian...
- Genocides, 20th Century
- Geopolitics and Geostrategy
- Germany in World War II
- Global Citizenship
- Global Civil Society
- Global Constitutionalism
- Global Environmental Politics
- Global Ethic of Care
- Global Governance
- Global Justice, Western Perspectives
- Grand Strategy
- Greater Middle East, The
- Hague Conferences (1899, 1907)
- History and International Relations
- Human Rights
- Human Rights and Humanitarian Diplomacy
- Human Rights Law
- Intelligence Oversight
- Internal Displacement
- International Conflict Settlements, The Durability of
- International Criminal Court, The
- International Economic Organizations (IMF and World Bank)
- International Health Governance
- International Justice, Theories of
- International Law
- International Monetary Relations, History of
- International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
- International Nongovernmental Organizations
- International Organizations
- International Relations as a Social Science
- International Relations Theory
- International Security
- International Society
- International Society, Theorizing
- International Support For Nonstate Armed Groups
- Internet Law
- Interstate Cooperation Theory and International Institutio...
- Intervention and Use of Force
- Iran, Politics and Foreign Policy
- Iraq: Past and Present
- Just War Theory
- Korean War
- Kurdistan and Kurdish Politics
- Law of the Sea
- Laws of War
- Leadership in International Affairs
- League of Nations
- Lean Forward and Pull Back Options for US Grand Strategy
- Mediation and Civil Wars
- Mediation in International Conflicts
- Mediation via International Organizations
- Middle East, The Contemporary
- Middle Powers and Regional Powers
- Military Science
- Minority Rights
- Multilateralism (1992–), Return to
- National Liberation, International Law and Wars of
- National Security Act of 1947, The
- Nations and Nationalism
- NATO, Europe, and Russia: Security Issues and the Border R...
- New Multilateralism in the Early 21st Century
- Nonproliferation and Counterproliferation
- Nonviolent Resistance Datasets
- Peace of Utrecht
- Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict
- Political Demography
- Political Economy of National Security
- Political Extremism in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Political Learning and Socialization
- Political Psychology
- Politics and Islam in Turkey
- Popular Culture and International Relations
- Post-Civil War State
- Post-Conflict and Transitional Justice
- Power Transition Theory
- Preventive War and Preemption
- Prisoners, Treatment of
- Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs)
- Pro-Government Militias
- Prospect Theory in International Relations
- Public Opinion and the European Union
- Quantum Social Science
- Race and International Relations
- Religion and International Relations
- Religiously Motivated Violence
- Reputation in International Relations
- Responsibility to Protect
- Rising Powers in World Politics
- Russian Revolutions and Civil War, 1917-1921
- Sanctions in International Law
- Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), The
- Shining Path
- Social Scientific Theories of Imperialism
- Soviet Union in World War II
- Space Strategy, Policy, and Power
- Spatial Dependencies and International Mediation
- State Theory in International Relations
- Strategic Air Power
- Strategic and Net Assessments
- Sustainable Development
- Teaching International Relations
- Territorial Disputes
- Terrorist Financing
- Terrorist Group Strategies
- The Changing Nature of Diplomacy
- The Queer in/of International Relations
- The Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relation...
- Theories of International Relations, Feminist
- Theory, Chinese International Relations
- Trade Law
- Transnational Actors
- Transnational Social Movements
- Trust and International Relations
- UN Security Council
- United Nations, The
- US and Africa
- US–UK Special Relationship
- Voluntary International Migration
- War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714)
- Western Balkans
- Western Front (World War I)
- Westphalia, Peace of (1648)
- Women and Peacemaking Peacekeeping
- World Economy 1919-1939
- World Polity School
- World War II Diplomacy and Political Relations