Globalisation of Race in Europe and the Americas
(20 and 21st centuries)

Principal investigator

Patrick Simon


Magali Bessone (Philosophy, University of Rennes 1)

Elisabeth Cunin (Sociology, IRD-Urmis)

Sonia Desmoulin-Canselier (Law, CNRS-Paris 1)

Sarah Mazouz (Sociology, INED)

Carole Reynaud-Paligot (History, NYU)

Julie Ringelheim (Law, FNRS-Louvain)

Daniel Sabbagh (Political science, CERI-Sciences Po)

Paul Schor (History, University of Paris 7)

Patrick Simon (Demographie, INED)


The research questions we want to address with this project lie at the intersection of scholarship on race and ethnicity, assessment of antidiscrimination policies and the analysis of international circulation of framings and policies. How and when the strategy of disqualifying race was gradually accompanied—if not replaced—by a strategy aimed at managing the effects of race by monitoring practices and their consequences? Can we conclude that the objectives have moved from race-blind to race-conscious ones? Is a “third way” combining a race-blind approach in legislation and a race-conscious approach in policy-making can be observed in some cases? Will the convergence of international anti-discrimination organisations toward the collection of data broken down by race and/or ethnicity lead to a new globalisation of race and ethnicity politics and what are the debates and controversies fostered by this framing? These broad questions will be examined in three articulated fieldworks: one on the changes that affected the notions of race and the forms of racism, one on international human rights bodies and their contribution to the production and dissemination of legal, political, statistical, and intellectual standards on race, and a third one on the articulation between antidiscrimination policies and ethnic and racial categorization in official and scientific statistics in nine case studies in Europe and in the Americas.


Institutions : INED and Sciences Po (CERI)

Duration of the project: 48 months (starting from December 2015)