The Afterlife of Colonialism: The Origins of Racial Inequality and Segregation in the Modern World

Friday, November 19, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Online via Zoom


The REDI Task Force invites you to the next event in our Critical Conversations: Race in Global Affairs series; an exploration of colonialism and empire.

Capitalism and colonialism are often invoked in discussions in the social sciences and the humanities as the profound causes of racism, discrimination, human rights abuses, and the subaltern status of minority (and sometimes majority) groups in contemporary societies. These concepts are often useful more as a shorthand to describe deep historical processes. This panel seeks to elaborate on the specific mechanisms and accumulated social, political and economic events of colonialism that lead to particular outcomes of poverty, inequality or violence today. Comparative perspectives from history, political science and economics, from various regions of the world may advance our understanding of the deep forces that hinder racial equity, diversity, and inclusion.

About the Speakers:

Beatriz Magaloni is the Graham H. Stuart Professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science, FSI Senior Fellow, and affiliated faculty at the Center on Global Poverty and Development at Stanford University. She is the current Chair of the REDI Task Force.

Her first book, Voting for Autocracy: Hegemonic Party Survival and its Demise in Mexico (Cambridge University Press, 2006), won the Best Book Award from the Comparative Democratization Section of the American Political Science Association and the 2007 Leon Epstein Award for the Best Book published in the previous two years in the area of political parties and organizations. Her second book, Strategies of Vote Buying: Democracy, Clientelism, and Poverty Relief in Mexico (co-authored with Alberto Diaz Cayeros and Federico Estévez), studies the politics of poverty relief. In 2010 she founded the Poverty, Violence and Governance Laboratory (POVGOV). The mission of  POVGOV is to develop action-oriented research through the elaboration of scientific knowledge that is anchored on state-of-the-art methodologies, multidisciplinary work, and innovative on-the-ground research and training. The Lab regularly incorporates undergraduate, masters, Ph.D. and post-doctoral students to pilot and evaluate interventions to reduce violence, combat human rights abuses and improve the accountability of law enforcement and justice systems.

Alberto Cayeros-Diaz joined the FSI faculty in 2013 after serving for five years as the director of the Center for US-Mexico studies at the University of California, San Diego. He earned his Ph.D at Duke University in 1997. He was an assistant professor of political science at Stanford from 2001-2008, before which he served as an assistant professor of political science at the University of California, Los Angeles. Diaz-Cayeros has also served as a researcher at Centro de Investigacion Para el Desarrollo, A.C. in Mexico from 1997-1999. His work has focused on federalism, poverty and violence in Latin America, and Mexico in particular. He has published widely in Spanish and English. His book Federalism, Fiscal Authority and Centralization in Latin America was published by Cambridge University Press in 2007 (reprinted 2016). His latest book (with Federico Estevez and Beatriz Magaloni) is: The Political Logic of Poverty Relief Electoral Strategies and Social Policy in Mexico. His work has primarily focused on federalism, poverty and economic reform in Latin America, and Mexico in particular, with more recent work addressing crime and violence, youth-at-risk, and police professionalization. 

Leonard Wantchekon is a Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University, as well as Associated Faculty in Economics. A scholar with diverse interests, Wantchekon has made substantive and methodological contributions to the fields of Political Economy, Economic History and Development Economics, and has also contributed significantly to the literatures on clientelism and state capture, resource curse and democratization. Wantchekon’s research includes groundbreaking studies on the long-term effects of historical events. For example, his paper “Slave Trade and the Origins of Mistrust in Africa” (AER, 2011, co-authored with Nathan Nunn) links current differences in trust levels within Africa to the transatlantic and Indian Ocean slave trade, and is widely regarded as one of the foundational papers in the emerging field of cultural economics. Similarly, his “Critical Junctures” paper (co-authored with Omar Garcia Ponce) finds that levels of democracy in post-Cold War Africa can be traced back to the nature of its anti-colonial independence movements. He is the Founder and President of the African School of Economics, which opened in Benin in 2014.