The International Politics of Race
December 2002, Polity
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In this important and timely new book, Michael Banton examines the international politics of racial discrimination and racism. The book recounts key events in the international politics of race during the past few decades. It discusses the difficulties in defining race and racism, provides case studies of international initiatives and national measures against discrimination, and reviews the 2001 World Conference Against Racism.
The idea that humans naturally belong in races derives from a scientific error, but it is not easily dispelled from popular thought. By relying on this conception of racism, the international antiracist movement continually recycles the very idea of race that it condemns. In its place, the adoption of an international perspective should inspire a powerful critique of the language of race as used in the English-speaking world. The new language of human rights reformulates the issues in ways that should appeal to everyone.
Michael Banton's writings over many years have included classical studies of race and ethnicity and have made him one of the best-known and respected sociologists of race. This book will be a key text for students of the politics and sociology of race, international relations and anti-discrimination law. It is written in a style that will also appeal to the general reader.