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Call for Papers: EJDR Special Issue: Race, (Anti-)Racism and Development

European Journal of Development Research (EJDR) invites abstract submissions for a Special Issue of the European Journal of Development Research entitled Race, (Anti-)Racism and Development. Submission deadline for extended abstracts: 11 April 2023.


Almost a century has passed since WEB Du Bois wrote about the global ‘colour-line’ (Du Bois, 1925) and 50 years since Guyanese Marxist scholar and activist Walter Rodney wrote How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (Rodney, 1972), explaining how the edifice of European capitalism was built upon Atlantic slavery and colonialism. Indeed, extensive scholarship — including Cedric J Robinson’s seminal work on ‘racial capitalism’ (Robinson, 1983) — has theorised the interdependencies of race, capital and imperialism in which development remains embedded. Yet, until recently, policymakers and scholars of ‘development’ have failed to acknowledge how race and racism are entangled with development and the ways in which racial and colonial violence continue to shape the sector and discipline.

This Special Issue on Race, (Anti-)Racism and Development aims to re-centre and reflect upon contemporary scholarship and new directions in thinking on race and development. Guest editors invite papers that critically examine racialised dynamics in and of development. Contributions may address, but need not be restricted to, any of the following guiding questions:

  • How do racialised ways of knowing development shape what questions are deemed worthy to ask and what answers can be heard?
  • What space is given or can be claimed for reflexivity, as an ethical necessity, to identify racialised ways of knowing in any and every development research or practical project?
  • Where does anti-racist knowledge production sit within moves for epistemic plurality? What tensions might arise for the study and practice of development?
  • Can racism embedded ‘in’ development be challenged without simultaneously exposing the racism ‘of’ development?
  • How do we analyse racialised processes of extractivism, settler colonialism, accumulation by dispossession, and climate injustice which the development complex continues to extend and facilitate?
  • How do we trace ‘racial capitalism’ as simultaneously embedded in particular social formations and operating at a global level and what other concepts might we use to address contemporary racialised imperialism?
  • How is development addressed within contemporary abolitionist, reparationist and revolutionary anti-imperialist movements?
  • How do race and racism shape everyday development practice and academic spaces?
  • How does racialised power circulate throughout the aid architecture to reproduce inequality and injustice?
  • In what ways might an intersectional approach extend beyond essentialist binaries and deepen understandings of variegated modes of domination within development spaces?

These questions/topics are not exclusive. We encourage scholars to submit any work that questions prevailing norms and critical scholarship and that details the intersections, contradictions, multiple experiences, and entry points that can unravel the racialised legacies, practices and conceptualisations of development.

Guest Editors

  • Jenna Marshall, King’s College London
  • Robtel Neajai Pailey, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Kamna Patel, University College London
  • Althea Rivas, SOAS, University of London
  • Kalpana Wilson, Birkbeck, University of London

Submissiondeadline for extended abstracts: 11 April 2023.