Professor Ian Law

Professor Ian Law


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. From September 2017 I will be engaged solely with research activities, working part-time at Leeds and also as a Research Professor in the School of Social Sciences, Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden.


  • EU DJ Project Leader

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 also lead the Counter-Islamophobia Kit: Countering Islamophobia through the Development of Best Practice in the Use of Counter-Narratives in EU Member States project funded by the EU Directorate of Justice and co-lead the Principles and Practice in Approaches to Deracialisation, countering the dynamics of contemporary racialisation in Brazil, South Africa, Sweden and the UK project funded by the Swedish Research Council with Nikolay Zakharov (Södertörn University).

Selected previous projects 



Mapping Global Racisms

Racist hostility and racist violence in Leeds

Chinese victims of racial harassment and violence

The racism reduction agenda

Ethnic minority business: policy and practice review

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • BA Hons, PhD University of Liverpool

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>