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Cover Security Studies: Critical Perspectives

11. Nationalism, racism, and xenophobia  

Philippe M. Frowd

This chapter analyses the security implications of nationalism, racism, and xenophobia. Nationalism can foreground common identity and social cohesion but also exclusion and rejection. Nationalism then constitutes and legitimizes hierarchies as racism and xenophobia do. While racism as personal prejudice is easy to identify and critique, racism as a bigger and more pervasive social system is more resilient and adaptive—it also has deep impacts on institutions that affect who is secure and who is not secure. Xenophobia is related to racism but centres more obviously on negative views of human differences, whether it is those with another citizenship, culture, or religion. The chapter then considers three themes: nationalism and its transnational facets in an era of resurgent populism; racism as a structure of global politics with impacts on insecurity at a range of levels; and finally citizenship and the risks posed to it—and rights more broadly—by xenophobia.

Chapter

Cover Global Politics

5. New Waves of Theorizing in Global Politics  

This chapter evaluates new modes of theorizing in global politics. These are based on long-standing concerns in social and political theory and all of them involve identity politics in one way or another—a form of politics in which an individual’s membership of a group, based on certain distinctive characteristics such as race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and sexuality, acquires significant political salience and is implicated in hierarchies of power. It follows that identity itself involves issues of both who an individual is, and who that individual is not. This involves not just self-identification or self-definition, but is also mediated by the perceptions of others. In some cases there are connections with social movements concerned with issues of justice and equality in both domestic and global spheres. In almost all cases the specific issues of concern, and their theorization, have come relatively late to the agenda of global politics and so may be said to constitute a ‘new wave’ of theorizing in the discipline. The chapter looks at feminism, gender theory, racism, cultural theory, colonialism, and postcolonial theory.

Chapter

Cover Security Studies: Critical Perspectives

5. Critical questions  

This chapter outlines the nine different questions we can ask in relation to security: who can ‘speak’ security; security for whom; security where; security when; security from what; security how; security why; security for what purpose; and security at whose expense? Asking some of these questions help to determine the context within which security is being mobilized, while others enable us to precisely identify what security does within a given socio-political order. The chapter uses the global drug war as an illustrative case study. By asking the nine security questions about the global drug war, the chapter shows how illicit drugs have been used as a pretext to reproduce racism, violence, and structural inequalities. As such, the chapter concludes by restating the importance of not taking security thinking at face value.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

18. Race in world politics  

Robbie Shilliam

This chapter examines the ways in which race can been understood as a fundamental ordering principle of world politics. It explores how the histories of European imperialism and colonialism are crucial for understanding the global impact of race, and whether contemporary world politics is less racist than it was in the past. It also considers the relationship between race, biology, and culture. The chapter concludes by discussing the historical processes that gave rise to race, some key debates around the conceptualization of race, and how race continues to order world politics. Two case studies are presented: the first is about race, caste, and Dalits in India; the second looks into the world of ecofascism.

Chapter

Cover Global Politics

8. Empire  

This chapter contests the myth that imperialism has ended by showing how imperial attitudes, racialised power hierarchies, and material inequalities that structured the era of empires remain in place today. It discusses why the field of International Relations conventionally sidelined the issues of imperialism and racism. Dismantling structural racism and imperialism requires long-term work on many fronts. Campaigns combining Postcolonial and Decolonial theories like ‘Rhodes Must Fall’ and ‘Why is My Curriculum White?’ have resulted in new publications and toolkits that decolonise the university. The chapter also recognises the need to review programmes, modules, and reading lists to include perspectives from outside the West, as colonialism and imperialism are at work in core disciplinary concepts and theories.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

18. Race in world politics  

Robbie Shilliam

This chapter examines the ways in which race can been understood as a fundamental ordering principle of world politics. It explores how the histories of European imperialism and colonialism are crucial for understanding the global impact of race, and whether contemporary world politics is less racist than it was in the past. It also considers the relationship between race, biology, and culture. The chapter concludes by discussing the historical processes that gave rise to race, some key debates around the conceptualization of race, and how race continues to order world politics. Two case studies are presented: the first is about the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL) and the second is about caste and Dalits in India. There is also an Opposing Opinions box that asks whether racism emerged as a consequence of the slave trade.

Chapter

Cover Rethinking Political Thinkers

35. Angela Y. Davis  

Manjeet Ramgotra

This chapter examines the core ideas of Angela Davis’s radical Marxist, abolitionist, political theory. It starts by looking at her experiences of racism, sexism, and imprisonment which underpin her activism to create a better world against the oppressions of the capitalist, white supremacist and heteropatriarchal state. Additionally, Davis advances arguments for the abolition of prisons. Davis’s abolitionism promotes a more humane and inclusive society based on radical conceptions of community, caring, and solidarity. The chapter also covers Davis’s work examining how Black women in particular faced multiple and intersecting oppressions of gender, race, class, and sexuality, especially as articulated in her Women, Race and Class (1981).

Chapter

Cover Politics

6. Nations and Nationalism  

This chapter examines the concept of nation, its relationship with the state, and the phenomenon of nationalism. The concept of nation implies a notion of common biological descent and may thus be associated with ‘race’. In turn, nationalist ideas may be expressed in racist forms, although we must exercise caution when relating nationalism to racism. The chapter first considers the many different ways that the phenomenon of nationalism has been theorized, focusing on nationalist ideology in relation to the nation-state, as expressed in the principle of self-determination, and patriotism as a form of nationalism. It then explores the phenomenon of the multinational state and of sub-state nationalism and discusses three forms of nationalism: ethnic nationalism, civic nationalism, and anti-colonial nationalism. It also shows how nationalism has been faring in the era of globalization.