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School of Law

“Race”, Anti racist Internationalism and the Global Colour Line

Date: 8 June 2021

The murder of George Floyd in May 2020 signalled a global reckoning with the perennial issues of “race”, “the racial”, and racialization. Emboldened by the organising of Black Lives Matter, and the struggles against police brutality in both the Global South and the Global North, within universities, work places, schools, professional sports clubs, and even the ranks of government, anti-racism appears to be forming a new common sense. However, this stands in stark contrast to the growing influence and increasingly normalised far-right capture of the state in the UK, the US, India, Hungary, the Philippines and elsewhere.

Against this conjuncture we invited some of the world’s leading public intellectuals to share their understandings of race, racism and racial politics to help us make sense of this moment and how we might imagine another world. This prompted us to ask some fundamental questions. What critical and analytical space might we lose if we describe the recent displays of racial violence simply as discrimination? What do we even mean by anti-racism? Is ‘decolonisation’ a useful term? How might the processes and structures of racialization and exploitation be disrupted? Ultimately, is a post-racial world even possible?

The conversation also reflected on what role universities must play in disrupting processes of racialisation within and beyond their four walls.

This online event was hosted by the Queen Mary University of London, School of Law and organized by the Law School’s Anti-Racist Working Group.


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