In White World Order, Black Power Politics: The Birth of American International Relations, Robert Vitalis presents a critical disciplinary history of the field of international relations, and the discipline of political science more broadly. Vitalis argues that the interconnections between imperialism and racism were “constitutive” of international relations scholarship in the U.S. since the turn of the 20th century, and that the perspectives of a generation of African-American scholars that included W. E. B. Dubois, Alain Locke, and Ralph Bunche were equally constitutive of this scholarship—by virtue of the way the emerging discipline sought to marginalize these scholars. In developing this argument, Vitalis raises questions about the construction of knowledge and the racial foundations of American political development. These issues lie at the heart of U.S. political science, and so we have invited a range of political scientists to comment on the book and its implications for our discipline.
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