Family matters in racial logics: Tracing intimacies, inequalities, and ideologies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


This article seeks to advance our understanding of how intimate relations and racial logics are co-constituted and matter-subjectively, culturally, materially, and politically-in our colonial present of economic inequalities, nationalist populisms, anti-migrant discourses and xenophobic hostilities. Addressing these crisis conditions is urgent, yet critical interventions indicate that prevailing accounts inadequately address the scale, complexity, and fluidity of racisms operating today. This article proposes to think racial logics 'otherwise' by drawing on interdisciplinary scholarship and intersectional analytics to produce a genealogy of state/nation formation processes, imperial encounters, and legitimating ideologies that illuminates how 'intimacy builds worlds'.1 A deep history of political centralisation reveals that regulation of intimate, familial relations is a constitutive feature of successful state-making and crucial for understanding how modernity's 'race difference' is produced and how the racialisation of 'Other' ('non-European', undesirable) sexual/familial practices figures in contemporary crises. Locating intimate relations-'family'-in (birthright) citizenship, immigration regimes, and political-economic frames helps clarify the amplification of global inequalities and the power of stigmatisations to fuel nationalist attachments and anti-migrant hostilities. Foregrounding intimacy and integrating typically disparate lines of inquiry advances our analyses of today's often opaque yet intense racisms and their globally problematic effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-196
Number of pages20
JournalReview of International Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • Birthright
  • Citizenship
  • Colonialism
  • Eurocentrism
  • Family
  • Immigration
  • Inequality
  • Nationalism
  • Race/Racism
  • Sexuality
  • State Formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'Family matters in racial logics: Tracing intimacies, inequalities, and ideologies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this