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Race, Migration and Intersectionality
From long-term population changes to seismic political events like Brexit and volatile elections, ethnicity, identity, immigration and race are at the heart of political change across many diverse democracies. The PSA Race, Migration and Intersectionality specialist group aims to create a much-needed space for PSA members to share, promote and discuss research related to race, racism, ethnicity, ethnic minority political participation and representation, but also issues of identity, immigration and belonging. Key to the group is an emphasis on intersectionality, and the interaction of race, gender and class. As such, we welcome a broad range of academics and interdisciplinary research.
We have three aims. The first is to become a prominent and leading forum for the development and promotion of academic political studies on the topics of ethnicity, race and intersectionality. In common with the PSA as a whole, we will be a pluralist group in terms of methodology and epistemology – united instead by our interest in the substantive topics of ethnicity, race and intersectionality. To achieve this, we will organise a number of panels at each PSA conference where colleagues can share their research in an expert but supportive environment. We would also organise a yearly workshop where scholars in the field can go into more depth on a particular theme.
Our second aim is to provide mentorship and career development in a collegial environment for students and scholars from backgrounds currently under-represented in the discipline – in particular, those from ethnic, racial and religious minorities. Despite the high levels of tertiary education among ethnic minority students in the UK, white scholars in our discipline are over-represented. The PSA Diversity and Equality Working Group found in 2009 that only 6 per cent of all politics postgraduates and under 4 per cent of research students and staff have a BME background. To achieve our aim of increasing participation and promotion of BME scholars, we will set up a mentorship scheme. However, we do not believe that scholars from these backgrounds should be restricted to studying ethnicity, race, intersectionality and immigration, so we will approach other specialist groups for relevant mentors as most appropriate to individual students and Early Career staff. Additionally, the group itself could act as a platform to discuss issues related to race, racism and ethnicity in contemporary higher education and develop strategies to tackle discriminations and develop more equitable practices more broadly.
Our third aim is to contribute to the national, regional and local debates about immigration, integration, ethnicity, race and intersectionality. We will encourage members to participate in the PSA experts directory and use the links already established by the convenors with national institutions and charities to promote the research of PSA members, as it can be applied to current policy and political debates.