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The International Politics of Race

ISBN: 978-0-7456-3049-6
240 pages
December 2002, Polity
The International Politics of Race (0745630499) cover image

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.

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Preface.

Chapter 1: Race as Species.

A two-dimensional concept – Racial typology – Selectionism – Popular usage in English – The tangled web.

Chapter 2. UNESCO.

Scientific facts - Science and politics - Present problems.

Chapter 3 The UN General Assembly.

Treaties - The noble lie – The legal instrument: discrimination – The legal instrument: protected fields - Political action – The decades – Universality – Diplomacy - Two theses.

Chapter 4. A Living Instrument.

Ratification - Treaty monitoring – Annual reports – Communications – Prospects – Problems ahead.

Chapter 5: Australia Arraigned.

White Australia – Native title – Equal treatment – A multicultural society – Unfinished business.

Chapter 6: The USA Enlists.

Why ratify? – Ethnogenesis - The Initial/Third report –A language of diversity.

Chapter 7: Britain in Europe.

European institutions – Immigration - National variations – Ethnic monitoring – Reflections.

Chapter 8 The Third World Conference.

Alternatives - Drafting - Durban 2001 - The Declaration - The Programme of Action - Reservations - A calamity.

Chapter 9: Public Policy and Human Rights.

Human rights standards – Equality in civil and political rights – Equality in economic, social and cultural rights – Ethnic relations.

Chapter 10: Better Explanations.

Race as a social category – The racism problematic – After racism.

Postface.

Bibliography.

Index

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Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Bristol
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A key text for students of the politics and sociology of race, international relations and anti-discrimination law.

Examines the international politics of racial discrimination and racism and the difficulties of defining these concepts.

Recounts key events in the international politics of race during the past few decades.

Provides case studies of international initiatives and national measures against discrimination, and reviews the 2001 World Conference Against Racism.

See More
‘This is Michael Banton at his laser-like best, engaged in a piercing analysis of what would otherwise remain a thoroughly murky subject. No one has better credentials for this job. Banton's are grounded in a lifetime of theoretical work and decades of practical experience. The result is conceptual clarity more than sufficient to blaze a fascinating trail through masses of arcane but vital information.’ Donald L. Horowitz, Duke University

"A significant addition to the literature on the ways in which our ideas about race and racism have evolved and changed over the past few decades. It thus deserves a wider readership ... this is an important book." American Journal of Sociology

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