Race and State
Ed: Alana Lentin and Ronit Lentin, Jun 2006
Speaking about racism in the western political climate of the first decade of the twenty-first century is more difficult than ever before. There is a feeling in post-colonial and post-immigration societies that the blatant overt racism of the past is no longer as pressing. Admitting racism elicits discomfort because common wisdom tells us that racism opposes everything that we believe in as citizens of democratic, “civilised” modern states. Yet state racism appears to be here to stay and, in many ways, is more acceptable than ever before. Immigration detention centres, the deportation of “failed” asylum seekers and “illegal” immigrants, racial profiling and the rolling back of liberties won by the civil rights movement are all examples of how state racism impacts on our daily lives.
Race and State contributes to breaking the taboo of discussing the links between “race” and state. The papers collected in this book highlight the interconnections between “race” and state, from historical, theoretical or contemporary sociological perspectives. Part I of the book looks at theoretical issues in conceptualising the “race”-state relationship. Part II examines racism in its most pernicious contemporary manifestation: the racialisation of “terror”. Part III, on the racial state(s) of Ireland, is an important addition to the debate, examining Ireland as a “test case” for demonstrating and interpreting the relationship between “race” and state.