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  • Cited by 7
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
November 2022
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Book description

The Unfinished Politics of Race argues that the past few decades have seen important transformations in the politics of race. Contending that existing accounts have focused narrowly on the mainstream political sphere, this study argues that there is a need to explore the role of race more widely. By exploring the mainstream as well as transitional and alternative spheres of political mobilisation the authors stress the need to link the analysis of both local and national processes in order to make sense of the changing contours of racialised politics. The underlying concern of this study is to outline both a theoretical frame for an analysis of racial politics, and detailed empirical accounts of different arenas of political mobilisation. By exploring the unfinished politics of race, this study provides a timely reminder that the position of racial and ethnic minorities in political institutions remains deeply contested.


‘In the wake of Black Lives Matter, the ongoing asylum crisis and the devastating, still unfolding impact of the Covid19 pandemic, issues of racial and ethnic inequality are at the forefront of public, political and policy concerns. Empirically grounded, historically and theoretically nuanced, The Unfinished Politics of Race reminds us that these current crises have deep roots and shines a light on the longer history of resistance by black and ethnic minority organisations and activists. A timely, important and challenging contribution to an urgent and unfinished conversation.'

Claire Alexander - Professor of Sociology, University of Manchester

‘The Unfinished Politics of Race exemplifies the best of collaborative research in the social sciences. It combines quantitative and qualitative approaches to the study of race and racism to examine the empirical, policy-oriented and scholarly implications of racial and ethno-national hierarchy in Britain at the cusp of the 20th and 21st centuries. Addressing topics such as multicultural democracy, anti-immigrant populism and the changing boundaries of the political, this book also provides lessons and provocations for specialists and a broader readership in the Anglophone countries of the Global North.'

Michael G. Hanchard - Gustave C. Kuemmerle Professor of Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania

‘The Unfinished Politics of Race is the most comprehensive account of the changing contours of political participation, racialization, and migration in Britain. Written by four authors who have shaped the field of racism and migration studies for more than three decades, it provides a compelling account of the convoluted and still incomplete transition of Britain towards a multicultural democracy. Attentive to the reciprocal interaction between the international, national and the local, this volume will become a key reference point for scholars interested in understanding the contemporary politics of racism and racial justice.'

Satnam Virdee - Professor of Sociology, University of Glasgow

‘Marx famously said that ‘People make their own history, but not on conditions of their own choosing'. The Unfinished Politics of Race documents how black and ethnic groups made ‘their own history' in Britain from the 1940s until today mostly outside the traditional public sphere and formal politics. Richly detailed, empirically grounded, and organized around an innovative set of political concepts, this book is destined to become the bible for understanding not only the British racial formation, but how it has been made and remade over the years.'

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva - James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Duke University

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