Race and imperialism in international relations

Is research and policymaking on international politics too wrapped up in colonial thinking?

Members event, Panel Recording
10 February 2022 — 6:00PM TO 7:00PM
Chatham House and Online

Race and imperialism in international relations

— Is research and policymaking on international politics too wrapped up in colonial thinking?

Racial and social concerns are high priorities today and spotlights are increasingly being turned on the legacy of colonialism in global political relations. Against this backdrop, this event asks how race and imperialism are still being felt in international relations today. 

Drawing on the January special issue of International Affairs, the speakers explore how this legacy bleeds between the worlds of political theory and practice, particularly in highly contentious areas such as national security, counterterrorism, and democratization.

Policy today is built on established models and ways of thinking without a much-needed evaluation of where these practices appear from. This event explores how new approaches address current global challenges with an inclusive and modern lens.

The event reflects on the following research:

Key questions the experts address include:

  • How has colonial-era thinking persisted in international relations research and how has it impacted policy implementation up to this point?

  • Taking the UK’s Prevent strategy and the Arab Spring as examples, are there any identifiable areas within policy which are predicated on outdated thinking?

  • Do research organizations and think tanks need to radically rethink their research methodology to approach global security?

  • What examples are there of new practices that acknowledge colonial-era thinking?

This special issue marks the beginning of the International Affairs centenary year, celebrating 100 years of academically rigorous and policy relevant research. Join us to discuss key issues in international relations that will shape the next century.

Become an individual member

Individual membership provides you with the complete Chatham House experience, connecting you with a unique global policy community.

A member takes the opportunity to ask the panel a question at our event on the digital revolution.
Find out more Auto insert on member events