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Race in the Shadow of Law: State Violence in Contemporary Europe

Dr Eddie Bruce-Jones from Birbkeck’s School of Law has a new book, Race in the Shadow of Law: State Violence in Contemporary Europe. The book is available now and published by Routledge.

The book looks at structural and institutional racism in Germany, and how the work of Black-led anti-racism activists has tried to combat this.

The main case in the book is that of Oury Jalloh, a Sierra Leonean man who, in 2005, burned to death in a police cell in the city of Dessau while in the German asylum system with temporary leave-to-remain. The circumstances of Jalloh’s death remain unclear more than a decade later, despite a campaign to establish them, with which Dr Bruce-Jones was involved as a legal observer.

Through the case of Jalloh and others who have died at the hands of the police in Germany, Dr Bruce-Jones draws connections between contemporary legal knowledge practices and colonial systems of thought, arguing that many people of colour experience the law as a part of a racial problem, rather than a solution, to racial injustice.

For the first time in academic legal scholarship, Dr Bruce-Jones’ book positions Black and anti-racist perspectives at the centre, rather than the margins, of critically thinking through the intersection of race and law.

Listen to Dr Bruce-Jones speaking about writing Race in the Shadow of Law: State Violence in Contemporary Europe.

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Published: 23 February 2017