Roger Awan-Scully and Claire Dunlop

 

Recent events in the United States have caused deep concern among many members of the Political Studies Association of the United Kingdom. As an association we condemn systemic racism, police brutality and injustice; we recognise the pain and anger in many communities; and we support the rights of peaceful protestors to demand justice and social transformation.

 

We offer our fullest support for the recent statement issued by our friends at the American Political Science Association.

 

But racism and discrimination are certainly not problems unique to the United States. As a UK-based association, we are very aware that they exist throughout British society. We are also aware that the UK, particularly through imperialism and its legacy, has been a substantial contributor to these problems in much of the world.

 

As an association, the PSA seeks to make its own positive contribution towards addressing racism and discrimination. Our staff and board of trustees increasingly embody the diversity of our communities. Through our Diverse Voices initiative, we are seeking to contribute directly to addressing the lack of BAME faces and voices in our part of the academy. And we will continue to support specialist groups, such as that on Race, Migration and Intersectionality, which explore these issues directly in much of their work.

 

We believe we should all approach these issues with some humility. None of us stands wholly outside the social structures and practices through which racism is encoded and reproduced. Political Studies in the UK has a far from flawless record in this regard. But we should also approach these issues with determination. Through supporting scholarship that interrogates unjust structures and practices; through our teaching (such as the efforts to decolonise the curriculum that many departments and scholars and engaged in); and simply through how we treat colleagues, students and other every day, we can help bring closer a world in which all are treated with dignity and respect.

 

Professor Claire Dunlop is the Vice-Chair of the Political Studies Association. Professor Roger Awan-Scully is the Chair of the Political Studies Association.