Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

Sociology and Social Policy

Professor Ian Law

Professor of Racism and Ethnicity Studies

I have been research-active in racism and ethnicity studies since 1978 when I began my PhD on racism and housing in Liverpool. Since then, I have worked in community relations, local government and higher education settings producing theoretically-informed, empirically-based policy-relevant research output. I am the founding director of the Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies, a centre established at the University of Leeds in 1998.

Research Interests

My primary research focus is global racism studies, building on the long tradition of critical race theory from W.E.B. Du Bois onwards. This involves the development of a new theory of the racialisation of the planet, polyracism, and associated geo-regional mapping of under-researched contexts. I am currently over half way through my primary research project of writing 10 books in 10 years, which will culminate with a synthesis of this new theory.


I teach racism and ethnicity studies at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. I have also developed the MA in Racism and Ethnicity Studies, for which I am responsible.

PhD Supervision

I have supervised a wide range of PhD students in my field of racism and ethnicity. Topics have included the following, the English Defence League, Zainichi Koreans in Japan, refugees in Finland, Sikh/Muslim conflict, Chinese children, contemporary Black music, Sri Lankans in Britain, Greek diasporic identities, Pakistanis and crime, ethnicity and nationalism in Malaysia and African-Caribbean elders.

Key Publications

Forthcoming Books:

Ian Law and Nikolay Zakharov (2016) Post-Soviet Racisms, London: Palgrave

Ian Law and Martin Kovats (2015) Rethinking Roma, London: Palgrave

Ian Law and Shirley Tate (2015) Caribbean Racisms, London: Palgrave Macmillan

Other Books:

Ian Law with Anna Jacobs, Nisreen Kaj, Simona Pagano and Bozena Sojka-Koirala (2014) Mediterranean Racisms, London: Palgrave Macmillan

Ian Law, S. Sayyid and Katy Sian (2013), Racism, Governance and Public Policy, beyond human rights, London: Routledge

Ian Law (2012), Red Racisms: racism and ethnicity in communist and post-communist contexts, London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Ian Law and Saran Swann (2011) Ethnicity and Education in England and Europe, Aldershot: Ashgate

Ian Law (2010) Racism and Ethnicity: global debates, dilemmas, directions, London: Pearson Education

Ian Law and Graham Huggan (ed.) (2009). Racism, Postcolonialism and Europe, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

Ian Law, Laura Turney and Deborah Phillips,(eds) (2004) Institutional Racism in Higher Education, Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham Press.

Ian Law, (2002) Race in the News, London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Ian Law (1996) Racism, Ethnicity and Social Policy, London: Harvester Wheatsheaf

Hugh Butcher, Robert Leach, Ian Law and Maurice Mullard (1990) Local Government and Thatcherism, London: Routledge

Gideon Ben-Tovim, John Gabriel, Ian Law and Kathy Stredder (1986) Local Politics of Race, London: Macmillan

Ian Law (1980) A History of Race and Racism in Liverpool, 1660- 1950, Liverpool: MCRC

Ian Law (1980) A History of Race and Racism in Liverpool, 1660- 1950, Liverpool: MCRC

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