In the spotlight

The Standing Committee RACED

Race, Racism and Discrimination
22 March 2024

The long awaited SC RACED (Race, Racism and Discrimination) has been created in July 2023 to make visible the emerging and dynamic field of research on race, racism and discrimination in IMISCOE. This new Standing Committee aims at structuring the research on these topics among IMISCOE members, while fostering dialogue and partnership within the scientific community.

Sayaka Osanami Törngren & Patrick Simon

Objectives of the Standing Committee

RACED intends to be a forum for researchers to engage in interdisciplinary conversations with an ambition to further conceptualize and empirically study racial inequalities and racial exclusion, and to epistemologically and institutionally contribute to racial equity and justice. The SC RACED aims at supporting research that hopefully will take scholars beyond critical reflections towards a post-racial society. It also aims at counteracting any form of racial denial which extends itself also within migration studies. Starting from the assumption that racial inequalities are globalized and can be found in all societies around the world, the SC RACED is scientifically addressing race, racism and discrimination as follows:

(1) Racism and racial discrimination are manifested in different domains of our lives such as labor and housing markets, education, access to and treatment by health providers, social services, the police, and other public institutions. We acknowledge that there is a need to fill the gap between the different traditions of Migration Studies and Ethnic and Racial Studies, and to think jointly about race, racism, discrimination and migration to stimulate a dialogue between these parallel scholarships. Within migration, racism is the underlying global structural condition that impacts who decides to or is forced to migrate, who faces barriers (including institutional ones) while migrating, as well as a defining feature of what happens ‘after migration’ and across generations. Migration research can and should benefit from novel approaches and theories about race and systemic racism in adjacent fields, notably Critical Race Studies, social psychology, history. The SC RACED intends to give race the analytical attention it deserves, while considering the impact that the interdisciplinary debate on race has on the way migration is taught, theorized, empirically studied, and spoken of.

(2) The SC RACED looks for connecting discussions and supporting research advancement around inclusion, diversity and migration, specifically focusing on the role of the concepts of race and discrimination in research, in close relation with the IMISCOE Executive Committee on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion.

(3) SC RACED aims to provide a space for research on these topics in a cross-national perspective. Race, racism and discrimination are a major challenge in contemporary multi-ethnic and multiracial societies, both as a subject for social science research and as a problem for policy making. Here the goal is fourfold: (a) Enlarging the scope: in Europe, for instance, research on race, racism and discrimination experienced a blooming in recent years and quantitative studies concentrated primarily on labour market and measurement issues. The SC will encourage enlarging the scope of the studies also to other domains while stimulating methodological reflections – mixed methods – and comparative research designs. (b) Promoting exchanges across disciplines: the SC aims at encouraging collaboration between scientists from different disciplines (economy, sociology, psychology, social psychology, anthropology, history, political science and law) to stimulate theoretical exchanges and deepen our understanding of current dynamics also in relation to the past. (c) Stimulating a comparative analysis of race, racism and discrimination features, dynamics and policy responses in various contexts to develop a research-policy nexus. (d) Creating the conditions within the SC for incubating and building large collective projects on race, racism and discrimination.

(4) We witness a growing urgency in developing policies and institutional responses to address the manifold expressions and modalities of racism, racialization and racial discrimination, at the supranational, national and city level. The linkage of scientific understandings of the causes, processes, mechanisms, consequences of systemic, institutional and structural forms of racism and racial discrimination to the systemic evaluation of plausible anti-racist strategies and policies is high on policy agendas. SC RACED aims to facilitate the research-policy nexus between, on the one hand, policy and activist perspectives on combatting racism and discrimination and, on the other hand, scientific research by supporting epistemological activities and sound methodological tools to examine these topics.

Plan of activities

• The interest for the topics undertaken by the SC RACED can be measured by the success of the applications to the 2024 IMISCOE Annual Conference (Lisbon & online). 20 panels, 5 workshops and 135 papers were submitted under the umbrella of SC RACED and we look forward to engaging in rich scholarly exchanges on these topics during the conference days.

• The SC has planned a webinar series on “Understanding race, racism, discrimination and antiracism in migration studies”. The first event of this series will focus on “Structural, systemic and institutional racisms: Challenges for conceptualization and empirical research”. The event will take place on May 23rd, with a discussion organized around three Horizon projects of the program “Strengthening racial, ethnic and religious equality”. A workshop will also be organized in October 2024.

• Drawing on the work of IMISCOE’s Antiracism Working Group and in collaboration with the IMISCOE Committee on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion, we plan to undertake a survey on experiences of inclusion and exclusion specifically in terms of discrimination or inequalities in the academia in general and in IMISCOE in particular.

• The Standing Committee is also expanding its Steering Committee to better represent the diversity of approaches, disciplines and knowledge about race, racism and discrimination. There is a specific reach towards PhD students to be members of the Steering Committee and to facilitate their participation in SC activities and events.

SC coordination and membership

The SC is coordinated by 2 co-chairs (Patrick Simon and Sayaka Osanami Törngren) and 5 co-coordinators (Valentina Di Stasio, Guia Gilardoni, Marcel Maussen, Doris Niragire, Nina Sahraoui). We are welcoming new members to our Steering Committee. Since its creation in mid-2023, the SC already counts with 113 members. Anyone interested in joining the Committee is encouraged to register for SC membership here.

List of other IMISCOE Standing Committees

    - SC Education and Social Inequality
    - SC Gender and Sexuality in Migration Research
    - SC Immigration, Immigrants and the Labor Markets in Europe
    - SC Methodological Approaches and Tools in Migration Research
    - SC Migrant Transnationalism
    - SC Migration, Citizenship and Political Participation
    - SC Migration Politics and Governance
    - SC Older Migrants
    - SC Reflexivities in Migration Studies
    - SC Superdiversity, Migration and Cultural Change

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