International Platform on Racism and Antisemitism

Contemporary forms of racism, anti-Semitism and anti-racism

The International Platform on Racism and Anti-Semitism (IPRA) aims to analyse the contemporary forms of racism and anti-Semitism in the world. Contrary to the predictions announcing their decline after the realisation of what the Shoah had been, and in the context of decolonisation, these phenomena have been renewed and have changed. Racism has continued to be prevalent in its traditional forms, but also in institutional and systemic modes, or yet again in the form of variants known as ‘cultural’ or ‘differentialist’, themselves reliant on this idea that a difference in culture produces the incapacity to adapt to the values and principles specific to Western societies. At the same time, anti-Semitism has assumed new forms with negationism, then the theme of ‘Shoah business’ but also with attacks and other acts of violence. The vectors of racism and anti-Semitism have also changed; alongside the classical forms, hatred and rejection of the other are now to be found on social networks and in algorithms. At a time of increase in identity-based movements and competition amongst victims, racist and anti-Semitic prejudice is even developing in some of the groups defending minorities. It is these recompositions that the platform intends to study with the aim of shedding light on action in opposition to racism and anti-Semitism, in both the public and the private sectors.

Contemporary research is very concerned with considering major problems from a global perspective, at the level of the planet, while at the same time developing comparative research which takes national differences into consideration. For example, the racial question is not the same in Europe as in America. Europe was the origin of colonisation, a process itself followed by de-colonisation, in some instances violent and involving bloodshed and where often today’s migrants are the children of yesterday’s colonised people. In America the question of colour, from the Atlantic slave trade and slavery to the present white supremacy, including the period of the Jim Crow laws, is central to the foundation of the society and the nation. Similarly, anti-Semitism is clearly more closely associated with hatred of the State of Israel in Western Europe, and more particularly in France, than in other countries where one can both hate Jewish people and be in favour of the Jewish State. The IPRA programme is set in a perspective in which the researchers ‘think globally’, while being interested in developing the potential for international comparisons.

It is one thing to analyse racism and anti-Semitism, but quite another, complementary, to consider the conditions which would enable reflection and better ways to confront them and have a beneficial effect on society. The IPRA platform will develop research which will enable in particular the evaluation of anti-racist action and actors, including collaboration with these actors, but without ever taking their place; the platform will examine the optimum conditions conducive to diversity, equity and social and cultural inclusion.

The International Platform on Racism and Anti-Semitism (IPRA) was launched in March 2019, in the presence of the Ministers for Education (Jean-Michel Blanquer) and the Minister for Higher Education and Research (Frédérique Vidal) and is placed under the responsibility of Philippe Portier (EPHE) and Michel Wieviorka (FMSH). It hosts international and national research projects, develops close links with the educational system and the local associational network, works with people who are in the field, NGOs, associations, trade union, mutual insurance associations (mutuelles) and foundations as well as with public authorities and widely disseminates its information concerning these issues.



Research activities projected

  • Current state of these issues

How should we describe racism and anti-Semitism today and who are the actors involved in research on these issues and in the campaign against racism and anti-Semitism? The Platform will launch several calls for projects for background documents on the state of research at world level, as well as a map of those who are active in confronting racism and anti-Semitism on the ground. This will provide material or the basis for comparative works.

  • Surveys

How do campaigns against racism and anti-Semitism work? Who campaigns? Surveys will be carried out, first in France, on the role of anti-racist associations, movements for decolonisation, teachers, future teachers in training and on the effects of some actions amongst schoolchildren. There again, the research will serve as a basis for comparative, international work.

The seminar will recommence in January 2020. It will be a locus for general and global thinking with a strong theoretical focus. The axes of research will give priority in particular to the links between religion and racism, the different forms of anti-Semitism depending on the continents or the epistemology of the comparison of racisms at world level.

  • Occasional colloquia on identified subjects

Colloquia will be organised on various themes which to date have been insufficiently explored: for example, racism and artificial intelligence, the museography of racism, racialist ideologies and racist movements.

  • Working papers

Scientific documents, written by researchers on targeted issues, will enable the dissemination without delay of the research carried out under the aegis of the platform in pre-publication form. 



This platform is co-supported by the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE) eand the Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme (FMSH).

With the support of:



Régis Meyran
Neli Dobreva



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Published at 23 November 2021