Speaker: Dr Olivia Umurerwa Rutazibwa, Senior Lecturer in European and International (Development) Studies at the University of Portsmouth and Senior Research Fellow of the Johannesburg Institute of Advanced Studies.
Chair: Dr Aggie Hirst, Lecturer in International Relations Theory and Methods and Chair of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Department of War Studies, King's College London.
To celebrate Black History Month, we're delighted to welcome Dr Olivia Umurerwa Rutazibwa to examine the forms that racism takes in the discipline of International Relations and the work she and other scholars are doing to challenge it. Drawing from her recent publications in Foreign Policy, Millennium, and Postcolonial Studies, she will reflect on how a blindness to race and racism leaves us with serious gaps in our knowledge of IR and precludes an understanding of how unequal power relations affect people of colour in their everyday lives.
Until recently, issues of race and racism were treated by many in International Relations (IR) as beyond the scope of the discipline. IR’s founding stories have traditionally excluded the context of empire, while its mainstream theories have broadly ignored questions of race and racism.
This has been changing in recent years. As global movements like Black Lives Matter have drawn attention to enduring structural racism in areas such as policing and justice systems, a growing community of IR scholars have emphasised the importance of race and racism for the discipline. They have shown that the field needs to urgently engage with the topics to correct a series of historical errors and theoretical blind-spots which distort how our understanding of how global politics functions, and proffered alternative accounts of the founding of the field of IR and its imperial legacies.
The talk will be followed by questions and answers from the audience.
This event is taking place on Zoom. Pease click here to register your place, you will be sent the Zoom link and password from 48 hours before the event.
Dr Olivia Umurerwa Rutazibwa
Dr Olivia Umurerwa Rutazibwa is Senior Lecturer in European and International (Development) Studies at the University of Portsmouth and Senior Research Fellow of the Johannesburg Institute of Advanced Studies. She holds a PhD in Political Science/IR from Ghent University, and has published in Foreign Policy, Millennium Journal of International Studies, Journal of Humanitarian Affairs, Postcolonial Studies, Ethical Perspectives, Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, and Journal of Contemporary European Studies. She is the co-editor of The Routledge Handbook of Postcolonial Politics (with Robbie Shilliam) and Decolonization and Feminisms in Global Teaching and Learning (with Sara de Jong and Rosalba Icaza). She is associate editor of International Feminist Journal of Politicsand recently joined the editorial boards of International Politics Review and Review of International Studies.