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03/30/2023 | 03:30 PM | online per Zoom

Theory Talks - Sué González Hauck: The (White) Elephant in the Room: Race and International Law

Sué González Hauck

The (White) Elephant in the Room: Race and International Law

TWAIL scholarship is the obvious entry point for discussing race and racism in international law. Despite the relative success of TWAIL scholarship in drawing attention to the co-constitutive relationship of international law and colonialism, explicit references to race and racism continue to be an exception in international law scholarship. The global reckoning with matters of race and racism following the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 has initiated a shift and opened a space for more explicit engagements with the role of race and racism in international law. This session aims at fostering an in-depth reflection on what it means to think about race and international law, specifically from inside European institutions. The mandatory readings selected for this purpose engage the topic of race and international law more broadly. The optional readings provide spotlights on a range of specific topics connected to race and racism and how they shape (international) law. 

Mandatory Readings

E. Tendayi Achiume, ‘Race, Borders, and Jurisdiction’, 82 ZaöRV (2022) 465-482.

Mohsen al Attar, ‘Tackling White Ignorance in International Law’ Opinio Juris 30 September 2022,

James Thuo Gathii, ‘Writing Race and Identity in a Global Context: What CRT and TWAIL Can Learn From Each Other’ 67 UCLA Law Review (2021) 1610-1650.

Optional Readings

Anna Spain Bradley, ‘Human Rights Racism’, 32 Harvard Human Rights Journal (2019) 1-58.

Souheir Edelbi, ‘Making Race Speakable in International Criminal Law: Review of Lingaas’ The Concept of Race in International Criminal Law’ TWAILR: Reflections #16/2020

Sué González Hauck, ‚Weiße Deutungshoheit statt Objektivität: Der ‚objektive Dritte‘ und die systematische Abwertung rassismuserfahrener Perspektiven‘, 42 Zeitschrift für Rechtssoziologie (2022) 153–175.

Robert Knox, ‘Haiti at the League of Nations: Racialisation, Accumulation and Representation’, 21 Melbourne Journal of International Law (2020) 1-30.

Ntina Tzouvala, ‘Invested in Whiteness: Zimbabwe, the von Pezold Arbitration, and the Question of Race in International Law’, 2 Journal of Law and Political Economy (2022) 226-251.


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