Institutional Racism in International Relations

Feb 8, 2024, 12:00 pm1:15 pm
Robertson Hall Bowl 1



Event Description
Phillip Lipscy

How does racism structure the patterns of cooperation and contestation in international relations? In the century since Japan’s failed proposal for a League of Nations racial equality clause, overt expressions of racism have become increasingly taboo in international diplomacy. However, I argue that institutional racism has emerged as a fundamental feature of the contemporary international order. Much like domestic politics, overt racism has given way to systemic racism, in which seemingly race-neutral rules and institutions perpetuate racial disparities and hierarchies. Despite their many virtues, international institutions play a central role in sustaining these distortions. Using new data on language use, membership, and leadership in international organizations, I show that despite a shift toward antiracist language, membership and personnel appointments in international organizations remain heavily biased. The findings have important implications for the efforts of Japan and other underrepresented countries to secure greater representation and voice within the international order.

Organized by the Global Japan Lab
Event Category
Cosponsored Event