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Theorising Race

Imagining Possibilities

Kira Erwin and Gerhard Maré

This special issue emerges from a concern with academic practice around researching and theorising race, racialism and racism; particularly within the current theoretical climate in which race is, in the majority, accepted as a social construct. In public thinking and discourse, however, acceptance of the biological existence of races continues to dominate in many societies. Racial classification also continues in many state practices in South Africa such as the collection of racial demographics though the national census, and through countless private and public officials reporting towards government-stipulated race-based employment acts. These classification practices raise contradictions for the constitutional goal of non-racialism in South Africa. South Africa has also signed and ratified the International Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Professional Interest/Pages/CERD.aspx), which aims to eliminate racial discrimination in member states. The convention, to which member states are legally bound, raises a number of pressing issues that, to date, are not present in a wider national debate on the continued use of race in South African state policy. For example, there is little recognition by the state of the difficulties associated with identifying a targeted group based on race, nor clarity as to whether these groups are identified through markers based on phenotype, or socio-economic or cultural differences. Nor is there open discussion on the use of terms such as fair and unfair discrimination and how they relate to terms such as distinction and differentiation (see Bossuyt 2000), and the legal consequences of using such terms.

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Introduction

Traces of Pan Africanism and African Nationalism in Africa Today

Denis Goldberg

themselves as Africans. W.E.B. du Bois, an African American and a Marxist, was sure that modern racism and the subjugation of black people was a direct result of capitalist labour relations, the quest for markets and raw materials and opportunities for

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Babies and Boomers

Intergenerational Democracy and the Political Epidemiology of COVID-19

Toby Rollo

erasure, yet they do not suffer from the risks of structural domination and erasure. Just as racism is defined as the combination of racial prejudice and institutional power, likewise, childism is distinct from ageism in that children are permanently and

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Jodi Dean

, the ever-increasing numbers of cases and deaths, the collapse of the economy as millions became unemployed, and the relentless systemic racism inundated the country in waves of fear and despair. Required to shelter in place and suspecting that any

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Shobita Parthasarathy

it spends 500 times more on genetics research as on structural racism and its impacts on health ( Krieger 2005 ). This is not surprising in a system where scientists drive funding priorities, and where investigators from historically disadvantaged

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Marcos S. Scauso, Garrett FitzGerald, Arlene B. Tickner, Navnita Chadha Behera, Chengxin Pan, Chih-yu Shih, and Kosuke Shimizu

.” Transmodernity 1 ( 3 ): 88 – 104 . Grosfoguel , Ramón . 2015 . “ Epistemic Racism/Sexism, Westernized Universities and the Four Genocides/Epistemicides of the Long Sixteenth Century .” In Eurocentism, Racism and Knowledge: Debates on History and Power

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Democracy in a Global Emergency

Five Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Afsoun Afsahi, Emily Beausoleil, Rikki Dean, Selen A. Ercan, and Jean-Paul Gagnon

( Lürhmann et al. 2020 ). Neither has civil society lost its voice—the starkest example being the mass anti-racism protests that followed the killing of George Floyd in the US (as documented by Dean, this issue). It is in places where democracy was already