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


  • Law IG and Kovats M, Rethinking Roma (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) (Accepted)

  • Law IG and Zakharov N, Post-Soviet Racisms (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) (Accepted)

  • Tate SA and Law I, Caribbean Racisms: Connections and Complexities in the Caribbean Region, Mapping Global Racisms (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/90108/

  • Law IG and others, Mediterranean Racisms, Mapping Global Racisms (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), i-201
    DOI: 10.1057/9781137263476

  • Law IG, Sian K and Sayyid S, Racism, Governance and Social Policy, beyond human rights, Routledge Advances in Sociology Series (London: Routledge, 2013)

  • Law IG, Red Racisms, racism in communist and post-communist contexts, Mapping Global Racisms (Basingstoke: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2012)

  • Law IG and Swann S, Ethnicity and education in England and Europe, Gangstas, Geeks and Gorjas, Studies in Migration and Diaspora (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011)

  • Law IG, Racism and Ethnicity: global debates, dilemmas, directions (London: London: Pearson Books, 2010)

  • Law I and Huggan G, Racism, Postcolonialism, Europe (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2009)

  • Law IG, Phillips DA and Turney LJ, Institutional Racism in Higher Education (Trentham, 2004), 166p

  • Law IG, Race in the news (Palgrave, Basingstoke, 2002), ix, 178 pp

  • Law IG, Racism, Ethnicity and Social Policy, Contemporary Social Policy (Prentice Hall - Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1996), I, 227p

  • Law I and others, Local Government and Thatcherism (London: Routledge, 1990)

  • Law I and others, The Local Politics of Race (London: Macmillan, 1986)

  • Law I, A History of Race and Racism in Liverpool, 1660-1950 (Liverpool: Merseyside CRC, 1981)

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