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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Harrop

Replacing race, weaponizing culture

Updated: Mar 7, 2022

Replacing race, weaponizing culture: UNESCO, racial science, and decolonisation in the Global South, c.1945-1980


In July 1950, printed in bold across the front page of UNESCO’s primary mouthpiece, the UNESCO Courier read the dramatic title: ‘Fallacies of racism exposed: UNESCO publishes declaration by world’s scientists.’[1] Confronted with the horrors of the Holocaust, so the narrative goes, Western scientists abandoned race as a useful category of human difference to ensure that atrocities made in the name of science would never happen again.[2] Beginning in the 1980s, influential scholars like Nancy Stepan have written intellectual histories of race to illustrate the intimate connections between science and society which undergirded racial science.[3] Within this scholarship, the UNESCO statements on race between 1950 and 1951 have been cemented as milestones in the emergence of an ‘anti-racist’ post-war science.[4] Conspicuously absent from this narrative, however, is the place of the violent collapse of European imperialism, which defined the decades after 1950. Incorporating empire and decolonisation into this narrative reveals that the relationship between racial thought and science in the second half of the twentieth century became reformulated and intensified in ways that persist today.[5]

Indeed, in view of recent overtures towards the ‘global turn’ in the history of science, this narrative has been subject to a reassessment as a part of shifts towards a global history of racial science.[6] In particular, Warwick Anderson has problematised the historiography’s focus on discussions on race in the Global North, of which the centrality of the UNESCO statements to the history of post-war racial science can be seen as a symptom.[7] Instead, this has highlighted how the history of racial science looks very different from the perspective of the Global South.[8] This this has informed a revisionist approach to the 1950-1951 UNESCO statements by Sebastián Gil-Riaño, contending that the statements were not a “discursive break but a reformulation and amplification of existing thought and practice” on race, that instead replaced it with a racialised understanding of culture.[9] This essay intends to take this thesis further, using all four of the UNESCO statements on race 1950-1967 as its point of departure to investigate how they interacted with events in the colonial and post-colonial Global South.[10]

Further, Helen Tilley’s work has argued convincingly that, although colonialism was a profoundly racialised project, race had a more unstable relationship with empire than has been recognised, undermining it as much as it reinforced it.[11] Carrying this forward into the end of empire, this essay contends that decolonisation had a complex, multivalent and at times contradictory relationship with twentieth century racial science. In spite of attempts by UNESCO to promote an ‘anti-racist’ approach to science, what emerged after 1950 was a reformulated, racialised understanding of culture, which not only reinforced late colonial developmentalism but also buttressed violent attempts to suppress anti-colonial nationalism.[12] Ultimately, therefore, it was events in the Global South that meaningfully challenged racial science. Operating within imperial scientific infrastructures, actors from the colonised world were able to appropriate scientific discourse to contest explicitly racial science in ways that intersected with the political process of decolonisation. Reflecting the contested and contradictory nature of decolonisation itself, and the agency of post-colonial actors, however, racial classifications continued to be co-opted into the state-building processes in the Global South.

This essay is structured to begin with an analysis of the UNESCO statements, highlighting that Gil-Riaño’s argument can be extended cover the two other race statements from 1964 and 1967. This will be followed by a broader discussion of how UNESCO’s conception of race was not incompatible with European imperialism, which persisted well beyond 1950. Due to its place at the heart of the relationship between empire and science, it will use colonial psychiatry in Kenya and Algeria to demonstrate the ways that social and medical sciences alike were weaponised in at the end of empire.[13] Finally, it will illustrate how actors in the Global South like Dr Thomas Lambo, head of psychiatry in Nigeria were able to exercise agency to contest explicitly racial science in ways that intersected with the political process of decolonisation.[14] Race’s continued role in post-colonial state-building, however, will be explored through the prism of the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East, where scientific racism experienced a renewed, post-colonial lease of life.[15]

Entrenching ‘fallacies’: UNESCO, Race and Empire

To begin, we must return once more to the UNESCO statements on race. Whereas scholars like Stepan and Barkan have positioned the 1950 and 1951 statements as significant milestones in the ‘retreat’ of scientific racism, this overlooks the extent to which these documents were themselves products of their broader context.[16] Indeed, at the time of their publication, much of the Global South was still under European colonial rule, and the fledgling organisation of UNESCO depended primarily on the support and finance of colonial powers like Britain and France.[17] Jenny Bangham has highlighted how this informed the centring of Nazi Germany’s use of eugenics and racial categorisation in how these declarations were framed, to avoid criticising the use of these same methods by European empires.[18] This was particularly evident in a 1950 UNESCO Courier article written by Dr Albert Métraux, an anthropologist and prominent member in the body’s Social Science Department, which selectively used a picture of German atrocities in occupied Poland to illustrate racial oppression.[19] The absence of decolonisation from the narrative of post-war racial science can therefore be seen as a conscious and gaping omission.

This extends the arguments of scholars like Mark Mazower, in highlighting the ways in which the United Nations system and post-war liberal internationalism more broadly were inextricably bound up with imperialism, even in the realms of international scientific exchange.[20] Figures like Julian Huxley, for instance, Director of UNESCO and a self-proclaimed eugenicist, saw no contradiction between his support for the UNESCO statements and his belief in the legitimacy of the British Empire.[21] This problematises the triumphalist institutional narratives on the initial UNESCO statements promoted by scholars like Michael Banton which overlook the significance of empire’s omission.[22] Indeed, it is important to recognise how the UNESCO statements were produced in a global context dominated by empires, and that their content remained consistent, not contradictory, to this.

With this in mind, scholars like Gil-Riaño have argued for a critical reassessment of the UNESCO statements on race between 1950 and 1951, in order to de-centre them in the historiography of post-war racial science.[23] The 1949 committee of social scientists for the 1950 statement, for instance, featured many prominent interwar ‘experts’ on race like British-American anthropologist, Ashley Montagu who is thought to be behind the statement’s criticism of the term ‘race’ as a category of human difference.[24] This mirrored the sentiments of Montagu’s 1942 book entitled Man’s Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race, which contended that race was a social myth.[25] Similarly, Helen Tilley has highlighted the parallels between the 1950 and 1951 UNESCO statements and the Universal Race Congress (URC) held in London in 1911. In doing so, this demonstrates the ways in which the category of ‘race’ had been subject to international scientific criticism much earlier than has been credited.[26] Despite challenging its legitimacy as a scientific category, however, the discussions at the URC were unable to move beyond the intellectual framework of ‘race’.[27]

This mirrored similar issues with the UNESCO statements, in which the 1951 statement reversed its predecessor’s repudiation of the concept of ‘race’ in the face of widespread opposition by scientists like Huxley, who saw the 1950 statement’s views as too extreme.[28] In this sense, rather than representing the discursive break they are depicted as being in institutional narratives, the UNESCO statements were rooted in prior debates on race from the first half of the twentieth century.[29] This helps to contextualise and appreciate their shortcomings, illustrating how they represented a ‘reformulation and amplification’ of existing practice.[30]

This is not to suggest that the UNESCO statements were themselves insignificant, however, but rather that much of their true influence has been overlooked. Indeed, as scholars like Alana Lentin outline, rather than promoting an ‘anti-racist’ approach to science, the first two UNESCO statements can be seen to have led to a replacement of ‘race’ with a racialised understanding of culture.[31] In tentatively rejecting ‘race’, for instance, the 1950 statement advanced the view that “…the history of cultural experience which each group has undergone is the major factor in explaining such differences.”[32] The 1951 statement “on the nature of race and race differences”, moreover, expressed a similar understanding, referring to the existence of different levels of “civilization” which exert an influence over the attainment of different degrees of intelligence and “cultural achievements”.[33] Having established this, both statements outline that given certain “cultural opportunities”, all “ethnic groups” can attain the same levels of achievement and intelligence.[34] In doing so, this re-affirmed colonial discourses on civilisational hierarchies, using Western civilization at the benchmark for peak cultural achievement.[35]

Furthermore, as Gil-Riaño contends, these sentiments also drew on ideas of ‘racial improvability’ espoused in the Global South which had guided eugenicist ‘whitening’ policies of national development in Latin America during the interwar period.[36] This was made particularly evident by the presence of Brazilian anthropologist Professor A.L. Costa Pinto in the drafting of the 1950 statement, whose theories were influenced by the ‘whitening’ policies of Getúlio Vargas’ regime in Brazil.[37] Additionally, UNESCO’s understanding also intersected with settler-colonial ideas of race. In an article about Australian ‘bushmen’ written for the Courier by the anthropologist A.P. Elkin in 1953, for instance, it was outlined that Aboriginal ‘difference’ was a product of their cultural isolation, and that they could contribute productively to society “if they are guided aright”.[38] This reflected Elkin’s work on racial hybridity and plasticity in Australia during the 1930s, which was rooted in paternalistic, white supremacist ideas of absorbing Aboriginal peoples into Western capitalist ‘civilization’.[39] This reinforces Warwick Anderson’s view of how race outlived its post-war ‘decline’ due to its conceptual framework remaining unchallenged, meaning the distinct ideas of racial hygiene in settler societies of the Global South were circulated into the global infrastructures of knowledge.[40] In this sense, in attempting to construct an ‘anti-racist’ approach to human categorisation, the first two UNESCO statements on race instead redefined ‘racial’ differences in terms of an understanding of culture that was rooted in eugenicist and settler colonial thought.

Equally, this intersected with discussions on economic development that were being promoted elsewhere in the UN system.[41] In its paternalistic construction of societies which did not align with Western markers of “cultural achievement”, the UNESCO statements fed into a broader construction of the ‘Third World’ as inherently ‘backward’ and in need of scientific expertise to remake it in the West’s image.[42] In particular, this fed into prolific Cold War ideas of ‘Modernisation Theory’ and its emphasis on capitalist, state-led development along Western lines promoted by US social science circles.[43] These connections were laid bare in a report by the UN Department of Social and Economic Affairs from 1951, which stressed that for “rapid economic progress” to be attained in the Third World, “Ancient philosophies have to be scrapped; old social institutions have to disintegrate…”[44] Alongside the UNESCO statement’s claims to scientific objectivity and authority, this emphasis on the cultural dimensions to economic and social development highlights the centrality of this reformulation of race to Arturo Escobar’s conception of development as a ‘hegemonic discourse’ tied to ‘othering’ non-Western societies.[45] Viewed in this way, UNESCO’s ‘anti-racism’ represented a top-down discourse of ‘modernisation’ which, as will be elaborated later, reinforced rather than undermined colonial rule.

Despite this, however, Gil-Riaño’s study is itself limited in its ability to make broader claims about the discussions on race in the UN system through its focus analysis on the first two statements on race, omitting reference to the 1964 and 1967 declarations. Indeed, the 1964 declaration appeared more explicit in its reference to equal “capacity for cultural development” and attaining “any civilizational level”, reflecting the persistence of this racialised understandings of culture during the final years of formal decolonisation.[46] It was only with the 1967 statement that the global context of anti-colonial struggle and systemic causes of racism were acknowledged by UNESCO.[47] This has been interpreted by Perrin Selcer and Antony Hazard as a response to the rapid increase in independent post-colonial states joining the UN as a part of formal decolonisation.[48] With this in mind, therefore, it was only following international pressure and anti-colonial struggles from the Global South that the connection between racism and empire was official recognised by UNESCO, by which time much of the formerly colonised world had broken free from colonial rule.

Fundamentally, as a site of knowledge production, UNESCO was inextricably defined by its connections and continuities with the imperial world. It should not be surprising, therefore, that the statements between 1950 and 1967 represented a ‘reformulation and amplification’ of existing thought on race. For these reasons, the central place of the UNESCO statements in the historiography of decolonisation and the post-war ‘retreat’ of racial science is problematic.[49] Instead, it was events in the colonial and post-colonial Global South that illustrate the multipolar and contradictory relationship between decolonisation and racial science.

Replacing race, and weaponizing culture at the end of empire: The cases of Algeria and Kenya

Indeed, shifting the focus towards events in the colonies reveals how racial science that was entirely consistent with UNESCO’s understanding of race continued to be both practiced and widely published in support of the late colonial project well into the 1950s.[50] Jock McCulloch in particular has used the prism of ethnopsychiatry and psychology in British East Africa to illustrate how the racial science practiced in the colonies was taken seriously by contemporaries, and was incorporated into the global infrastructures of knowledge.[51] This relationship was made especially evident by J.C. Carothers, a leading figure in the ‘East African School’ of psychiatry based in Mathari Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya.[52] Within this, the ‘ethnopsychiatry’ practiced by Carothers was predicated on the view that different races had distinct psychologies, which informed his theories on the inherent inferiority of the ‘African Mind’.[53] In 1952, Carothers was commissioned for his ‘expertise’ by the World Health Organization (WHO) to write a report on African mental health disorders.[54] The result, entitled: The African mind in health and disease: a study in ethnopsychiatry (1953) is striking not only for its widely publicised racialised content, but for how Carothers’ theories of African mental ‘backwardness’ did not contradict the 1950-1951 UNESCO statements.[55] This reinforces Richard Keller’s problematisation of how scholars have previously regarded racial science in the colonies as marginal or ‘pseudo-scientific’. Instead, colonial knowledge production like Carothers’ widely cited report for the WHO were accepted, even mainstream parts of the global infrastructures of knowledge into the 1950s and 1960s.[56]

Chapter 7 of the report, for instance, outlines that the primary reason for differences in “mental development” between Europeans and “Africans” were “cultural factors”, which stunted cognitive development in ways that Western culture did not.[57] Similarly, reflecting UNESCO’s racialised understanding of culture, the report used the terms “race” and “culture” interchangeably.[58] This both paralleled previous arguments used by Kenya’s white settler community to justify their privileged position in the colony, while also sitting squarely within the 1950-1951 statements’ understanding of human difference being attributed to “cultural opportunity”.[59] This was also true of the ‘Algiers School’ of psychiatry in French colonial Algeria, which was often at the cutting edge of its field.[60] This was in spite of it producing studies which constructed Muslims as inherently psychologically abnormal due to the ‘fanaticism’ encouraged by their religious culture.[61] Even within the ‘anti-racist’ framework of post-war science, therefore, the ‘abnormality’ and ‘inferiority’ of African and colonised psychologies could still be scientifically expressed in ways that justified colonial rule. Viewed in this way, rather than precipitating a rolling back of racial science, the era of decolonisation saw the continued instrumentalization of racial science in service of European colonialism.

Building on this, scholars like Erik Linstrum have also outlined that when colonial rule became existentially challenged by anti-colonial insurgencies, racial science was weaponised and constituted a guiding force in the colonial state’s responses to nationalism.[62] Within this, scientific discourses and the authority they carried, played a central role both in undermining the legitimacy of the nationalist grievances with colonial oppression, and justifying the coercive and often violent policies deployed during the wars of decolonisation.[63] Nowhere was this synergy between racial science and colonial efforts to thwart decolonisation more transparent than in the psychiatry of the East African School during the Mau Mau revolt in Kenya (1952-1960) and the Algiers School during the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962).[64]

Indeed, the Algiers School reached the peak of its scientific influence at the time of France’s confrontation with Algerian nationalism, during which it served as an invaluable source of Orientalist knowledge production on what was seen as the psychologically distinct ‘Arab Mind’.[65] This was explicitly sought out by the French authorities to inform the interrogation and propaganda strategies deployed by the psychological warfare unit of the French army, called the Fifth Bureau.[66] In particular Antoine Porot, the French psychiatrist and founder of the Algiers School, was commissioned for studies on the violent methods of the National Liberation Front (FLN), which he ascribed to the ‘character defects’ of North African Muslims.[67] In doing so, these studies trivialised the FLN as a product of Muslim ‘fanaticism’ and ‘irrationality’ rather than the genuine political grievances with the socio-economic oppression of colonialism.[68] These authoritative medical discourses of cultural inferiority served to justify the use of torture, detention without trial and other brutal methods employed by French security forces, and highlight the centrality of racial science in colonial efforts to retain control of empire in the age of decolonisation.[69]

This paralleled similar relationships between the colonial state and centres of scientific knowledge production in Kenya, when Carothers was commissioned by the British government in 1954 to write a report on the causes of the Mau Mau revolt.[70] The final product, The Psychology of Mau Mau, was significant for its weaponization of medical language, in which the Mau Mau were ‘diagnosed’ with suffering from the effects of ‘detribalisation’, seen as symptomatic of the cultural underdevelopment of the ‘African mind’.[71] Mau Mau’s violence was therefore constructed as an atavistic reaction to the breakdown of Kikuyu tradition, which had become threatened by ‘modernisation’ in the colony, rather than more complex economic inequalities brought on by the exploitation of white settlers.[72] This diagnosis was used to proscribe the mass resettlement of the Kikuyu population (villagization), as well as the violent practices of rehabilitation through the ‘Pipeline’ system of detention centres.[73] These recommendations were quickly accepted into the colonial state’s strategy after 1954, with some 1.5 million men, women and children being forcibly resettled into over 800 government villages, which were used as the setting for teaching them ‘respectable’ skills like farming and childcare.[74]

In constructing Mau Mau as a mental illness caused by African cultural ‘backwardness’, in need of treatment and reform, therefore, Carothers’ rhetoric was broadly consistent with the 1950-1951 UNESCO statements in their racialised ideas of cultural uplift.[75] Similarly, Katherine Bruce-Lockhart has elaborated on the ways in which these racialised understandings of culture intersected in gender specific ways in terms of the violence they inflicted.[76] Some 8,000 female detainees in women-only camps like Kimaiti, for instance, were sexually abused and treated as mentally ill for failing to conform to Western gender roles, with many being considered as candidates for treatment at Mathari Mental Hospital.[77] Gil-Riaño’s argument that the UNESCO statements promoted a racialised understanding of culture can therefore be expanded to include the ways in which its rhetoric paralleled that deployed to justify colonial violence at the end of empire.[78] As the cases of Algeria and Kenya both illustrate, the ‘retreat’ of racial science described by many scholars, appears misleading when the focus is shifted to the late colonial encounter.[79] Instead, the challenges represented by the era of decolonisation led to an amplification and intensification in the use of racial science in support of empire.

Furthermore, the prism of colonial development offers a further means of demonstrating how racial science was co-opted into post-war efforts to re-invigorate and legitimise the European imperial project, mobilising the social sciences in service of engineering industrial modernity in the colonies.[80] Indeed, as Gil-Riaño has established, post-war economic developmentalism was steeped in the racialised ideas of cultural uplift and civilisational hierarchies promoted by UNESCO.[81] To return once more to Algeria, the Constantine Plan of 1958 offers a clear instance of this, in which President Charles de Gaulle pledged to modernise Algeria to bring it in line with standards of living in metropolitan France.[82] Muriam Haleh Davis in particular has illustrated that this scheme was inspired by the ‘modernisation theory’ and economic planning of US social science circles, that placed an emphasis on the psychological and sociological dimensions of modernity.[83]

Within this, previous notions of biological racism, although present, were displaced by the psychologists of the Laboratory of Applied Human Sciences’ (LSHA), who proposed a “new language of aptitudes and behaviours”.[84] Inspired by the US Gallup Institute, questionnaires were devised by the LSHA and distributed to Algerians in order to gauge public opinion on what ‘Muslim’ modernity should look like.[85] This included campaigns to encourage behaviours like consumerism and organised sports, which were believed to redirect energies away from nationalism.[86] These paternalistic attempts at socially engineering capitalist modernity were fundamentally based on previous theories that Algerian Muslims had distinct psychologies to Europeans, and the belief that Islam was an obstacle to economic productivity.[87] Similar efforts were also made in Kenya as a part of the Swynnerton Plan of 1954, which used a policy land consolidation and ‘villagization’ to reshape Kikuyu society into an idealised, Western form of modernity.[88] In this respect, this reinforces the salience of James Poskett’s approach of an expanded appreciation for the proliferation of racial thought that includes the social sciences, which formed the backbone of efforts to repackage and buttress European imperialism in the face of anti-colonialism.[89] Indeed, re-orienting scholarly focus towards events in the colonial Global South during the period of decolonisation highlights how, rather than dissipating, racial science saw an intensified relationship with empire.[90]

Contesting or co-opting racial science? The Global South and challenge of decolonisation

It is also necessary to impress that just as there existed moments of intersection between science and empire, as scholars like Helen Tilley have contended, this relationship was also marked by antagonism and contradiction.[91] In line with Anderson’s approach of complicating the history of racial science by foregrounding the Global South, therefore, it is important to highlight that racial science could be appropriated and contested by colonised and post-colonial actors.[92] Indeed, what Gil-Riaño has not accounted for in his argument of a post-war reformulation and amplification of racial thought is the agency of these actors in both re-shaping and appropriating racial science in the second half of the twentieth century.[93] Incorporating this into scholarly understandings of post-war science and empire therefore reveals a more complex and contradictory relationship between racial science and decolonisation, which will be the focus of this final section.

Once more, the field of psychiatry, offering one of the clearest nexuses between science and empire, illustrates that just as racial science could be used to justify and reinforce late colonialism, so too could it be contested by colonial subjects themselves.[94] In particular, the work of Thomas Adeoye Lambo the Nigerian chief psychiatrist at Aro Mental Hospital after 1954, demonstrates how explicitly racist science could be contested within colonial infrastructures of knowledge.[95] Within this, Lambo wrote prolifically on how cultural differences affected the manifestations of certain mental illnesses, and that colonial theories like ‘detribalisation’ were based on misconceptions that meant colonial doctors could only identify mental illnesses when they resembled those of Europeans.[96] The success of the Lambo’s ‘Aro Village’ scheme demonstrated this thesis, in which patients from Nigeria’s Yoruba ethnic group were treated with a mixture of culturally familiar environments and traditional healers, alongside contemporary psycho-therapeutic methods, rather than the colonial practice of isolation and forced committal.[97] This culturally sensitive scheme saw higher chances of recovery and established trust with patients better than ‘Western’ mental hospitals, exposing the inadequacies of the colonial mental healthcare system.[98] In doing so, Matthew Heaton has contended that Lambo’s contestation of colonial racial science at Aro Hospital intersected with the rise of Nigerian nationalism by demonstrating that Nigerians were more capable of running their affairs than the British administration.[99] In this sense, racialised understandings of culture described by scholars like Gil-Riaño also created openings for appropriation by actors in the Global South to unpick the misconceptions at the centre of colonial knowledge production in ways that overlapped with the politics of decolonisation.[100]

A similar case can also be made for Frantz Fanon, a psychiatrist from French Martinique trained by the Algiers School, who repurposed the language of medical diagnosis to criticise French colonial rule in North Africa.[101] In his 1952 research article on ‘North African Syndrome’, for instance, Fanon outlined the deleterious impacts of colonialism on the mental health of the colonised, implicating colonial oppression as the cause of the ‘inherent’ mental instability they used to justify colonial rule.[102] Fanon would later join the FLN in 1956 to support Algeria’s effort to break free from French rule and expanded his critiques through texts like The Wretched of the Earth.[103] This piece similarly engaged with the contradictory psychological effects and justifications of empire, which he used to contest Carothers’ work, as well as that of Porot of the Algiers School.[104] Viewed in this way, the cases of Fanon and Lambo reinforce Anderson and Hans Pols’ view of the overlapping relationship between colonial medical science and anti-colonial nationalist movements.[105] In this case, the ways in which sciences like psychiatry were implicated in the colonial project meant that their criticisms often became inextricable from broader political campaigns for decolonisation.[106]

Furthermore, this contestation of racial science also did not end with ‘flag independence’. Long after Nigeria’s independence in 1960, Lambo played a central role in pioneering a ‘cross-cultural’ approach to psychiatry, which established Aro Hospital as an important site of international knowledge production.[107] For instance, Lambo’s 1963 study with Cornell University, ‘Mental Disorder among the Yoruba’ presented significant research which disproved Carothers’ work on ‘detribalisation’ by indicating that there was no connection between urbanisation and African mental illness.[108] It also outlined the important role of traditional healers in treating mental health conditions, previously excluded from healthcare during the colonial period.[109] This work showed similar results to a study in rural Canada, leading to the WHO’s ‘cross-cultural’ International Pilot Study of Schizophrenia (IPSS), published in 1973.[110] This study was seminal in how it provided information on the influence of culture on the manifestations of mental health diagnosis in different regions across the world, undermining ethnopsychiatry’s emphasis on the existence of inherently abnormal psychologies.[111]

This highlights that the ‘cultural’ understandings of human difference advanced by UNESCO had a more multivalent impact on decolonisation than has been recognised. Although it intersected with Carothers’ work to support his theories on the ‘African Mind’, so too could it create opportunities to expand global understandings of neurological-normativity and facilitate the ‘circulation’ of indigenous knowledge into the international infrastructures of knowledge.[112] During the WHO’s landmark conference at Alma Ata in 1978, for instance, the role of traditional healers was formally recognised as an important part of extending healthcare into rural areas.[113] Viewed in this way, therefore, these debates highlight the salience of conceptualising decolonisation as process more complex than the transfer of sovereignty to the colonised. As Lambo and the IPSS demonstrate, colonial-era misconceptions continued to hold credibility into the 1960s, and actions by scholars and scientists in the Global South to challenge and replace this knowledge continued long after the imperial flag had been lowered.

Within this, however, it is also salient to recognise that even while the structures of scientific knowledge production could be appropriated and contested, racial science could still be perpetuated through the intellectual limits imposed by these systems. This was particularly the case for Fanon and Lambo, who both received their scientific education in the imperial institutions of the Algiers School, and University College at Ibadan respectively.[114] Consequently, McCulloch has pointed to how, while Fanon critiqued the Algiers School’s conception of inherently inferior African and Arab ‘personalities’, he accepted the colonial idea of the existence of collective personalities of the colonised.[115] As such, the colonised in his theories remained an essentialised ‘mass’ defined entirely by their relationship to a hegemonic Western culture.[116]

Furthermore, although Heaton points to how Lambo’s studies of the Yoruba in Nigeria advanced a ‘cross-cultural’ approach to mental illness, it is also important to recognise how his work replicated colonial patterns of scientific research.[117] Indeed, just as colonial psychiatrists conducted research in the Global South for publication in the metropole, Lambo’s studies, like the 1963 collaboration with Cornell University on the Yoruba, remained dependent on the finances and publishing facilities of the Global North.[118] This reinforces Elise K. Burton’s contention of the persistent ‘colonial’ hierarchies of research in the international scientific infrastructure which are financially weighted towards the Global North, and fundamentally extractive, relying on data collected from the populations of the Global South.[119] In this respect, the effect of decolonisation on racial science can be conceptualised in similar terms to decolonisation itself – as an ‘unfinished’ intellectual and political process.[120] Although explicitly racist science could certainly be contested on the surface, to suggest that this represented the ‘end’ of racial science would be to overlook the extent of the proliferation and reformulation of racial and cultural hierarchies. This integrates racial science into more complex understandings of decolonisation, which recognise the lingering cultural, economic and scientific legacies of empire that remain embedded in society today.[121]

More complex still, however, are ways in which racial science was deliberately instrumentalised for political projects connected to decolonisation by actors from the Global South, which are best explored through the post-war fixation with the authority carried by genetics.[122] Indeed, as Bangham has outlined, following the discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA in the early 1950s, genetics was promoted by institutions like UNESCO as a politically neutral and universal way of articulating human difference.[123] However, as a consequence of the rise of genetics taking place alongside the political process of decolonisation, Burton has used the Middle East to illustrate the ways in which the two became intertwined. Within this, the rise of anti-colonial pan-Arab sentiment in the Middle East during the 1950s shaped Turkey’s research into the high incidence of the gene for Sickle Cell disease in its southern province of Hatay.[124] This territory was the subject of a border dispute with Syria, then subsumed into Gamal Abdel Nasser’s pan-Arab state, the United Arab Republic in 1958, whose regional ambitions threatened those of Turkey.[125] When researching in the area, therefore, Turkish physician, Muzaffer Aksoy used the distinctive prevalence of the Sickle Cell trait among the population to undermine Syria’s territorial claims, stating Hatay’s inhabitants were ancient ‘Hittite Turks’ rather than Arabs, despite Arabic being their primary language.[126] This population were subsequently named the ‘Eti-Turks’ after the Turkish nationalist leader, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, which was endorsed by the Turkish government in order to cement the Hatay region as an integral part of the Turkish state.[127]

In this respect, the existence of multiple incompatible post-colonial visions of the Middle East like pan-Arabism and Turkish nationalism interacted with the scientific authority of genetics in ways that implicated it in the state-building process.[128] This reflects Omnia El-Shakry’s view of anti-colonial nationalism, and decolonisation more broadly, which are conceptualised as deeply contradictory ideologies and processes.[129] Although predicated on the idea of severing ties with colonialism and viewing imperialism as an obstacle to progress, political leaders in the Global South inherited and drew from the same discourses of modernisation, scientific progress and state-building that were promoted under colonial rule.[130]

Furthermore, this aligns with Projit Bihari Mukharji’s studies of the role of colonial racial science in signifying particular identities in colonial India, and how this translated into the post-colonial popularity of ‘biometric’ nationalism.[131] Similar to the Sickle Cell gene, which was initially regarded as a marker of African heritage, for instance, the high prevalence of Blood Group B was initially associated with Indian Subcontinent identity after 1918.[132] However, following Indian and Pakistani independence, by the late 1950s the q gene associated with this trait had become a marker of a distinct Bengali identity.[133] Understanding decolonisation as a contested process during which Bengali nationalism, or Arab nationalism fluctuated in their political importance, therefore, means that racial science created authoritative ways of articulating these identities. Viewed in this way, therefore, any understanding of the way in which decolonisation interacted with racial science should acknowledge the contradictions inherent in this process, and the role of post-colonial agency in shaping the ways in which it was appropriated.


In summation, decolonisation had a complex, multivalent and at times contradictory relationship with the development of twentieth century racial science in the two decades after the Second World War. Despite attempting to craft an ‘anti-racist’ approach to science with their statements on race, UNESCO instead promoted a reformulated and racialised approach to culture within which the continued existence of European empires did not represent a contradiction. This essay has emphasised the need for an extended reassessment of all four of the UNESCO statements on race between 1950 and 1967 in an attempt to displace them from their central place in intellectual histories of race and institutional narratives of a ‘retreat’ from racist science.[134] Instead, it has suggested understanding them as products of their broader context, published in a world still dominated by empires, and of the need to foreground events in the Global South, from which the narrative of post-war racial science looks very different.[135] Using the examples of Kenya and Algeria, this essay has pointed to how these statements aligned not only with the developmentalist rhetoric of late colonialism as Gil-Riaño has argued, but also with colonial efforts to violently suppress anti-colonial nationalism.[136] In this respect, decolonisation gave racial science a renewed importance as a means to reinvent and buttress European imperialism in the face of nationalist opposition.

With this in mind, following Warwick Anderson’s argument, it was actors in the Global South themselves who meaningfully challenged explicitly racist science.[137] Returning to colonial psychiatry, Thomas Lambo and Frantz Fanon operated within the colonial infrastructures of knowledge and appropriated its discourses to contest racial science in ways that intersected with the political process of decolonisation. In understanding decolonisation as a phenomenon more complex than the simple transfer of sovereignty, this highlights the ways in which attempts to challenge racial science and international scientific hierarchies continued long after independence, extending the temporal space of decolonisation. However, reflecting the fundamentally contradictory and contested nature of decolonisation and anti-colonial nationalism, racial science in the form of genetics was also co-opted by post-colonial elites into the state-building processes in order to substantiate territorial claims and national identity. Indeed, decolonisation both reinvigorated and reshaped racial science.

This essay has been guided by the approach of viewing all science as ‘racial’ from the beginning, with racialised understandings of culture proliferating into the social as well as the biological sciences.[138] This has provided the scope to make broader claims about racial science’s relationship with decolonisation as a whole, rather than previous field-specific studies which focus on individual aspects of this, like genetics and psychiatry.[139] Combined with the wider shift away from intellectual histories of race, further study along these lines can help to construct a global history of racial science in the era of decolonisation that integrates events in the Global South into established narratives.[140] Within this, many studies on science and empire conclude just after the Second World War or the traditional end points of formal empire, obscuring the longer and more complex history of how racial science interacted with and shaped the end of empire, and what came afterwards.[141] In doing so, historians can help to shed light on the lingering and problematic implications of how science has been, and continues to be used to identify and justify human difference.[142]

[1] Alfred Métraux, ‘Fallacies of racism exposed’, UNESCO Courier, 3:6-7 (1950), 1, 5-6, accessed via <> [last accessed 8 March 2021]. [2] Nancy Stepan, The Idea of Race in Science: Great Britain 1800-1960 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 1982), pp. 140-141; Elzar Barkan, The Retreat of Scientific Racism: Changing Concepts of Race in Britain and the United States between the World Wars (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), pp. 341-342. More recent examples include Perrin Selcer, ‘Beyond the Cephalic Index: Negotiating Politics to Produce UNESCO’s Scientific Statements on Race’, Current Anthropology 53:5 (2012), 173-184; Michelle Brattain, ‘Race, Racism and Anti-Racism: UNESCO and the Politics of Presenting Science to the Postwar Public’, American Historical Review 112:5 (2007), 1386-1413. [3] See Stepan, The Idea of Race in Science; Barkan, The Retreat of Scientific Racism. [4] Selcer, ‘Beyond the Cephalic Index’, 173-174. [5] Sebastián Gil-Riaño, ‘Relocating Anti-Racist Science: The 1950 UNESCO Statement on Race and Economic Development in the Global South’, The British Journal for the History of Science 51 (2018), 281-303 (pp. 281-283). [6] For ‘global turn’ see Fa-ti Fan, ‘The Global Turn in the History of Science’, East Asian Science, Technology and Society 6:2 (2012), 249-258 (pp. 249-251); Kapil Raj, ‘Beyond Postcolonialism… and Postpositivism: Circulation and the Global History of Science’, Isis, 104:2 (2013), 337-347 (pp. 337-341). For global histories of racial science, see James Poskett, Materials of the mind: phrenology, race, and the global history of science, 1815-1920 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019); Keith Breckenridge, Biometric State: The Global Politics of Identification and Surveillance in South Africa, 1850 to the Present (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014). [7] Warwick Anderson, ‘Racial Conceptions in the Global South’, Isis, 105 (2014), 782-792 (pp. 782-783, 785). [8] Ibid., 790-792. [9] Gil-Riaño, ‘Relocating Anti-Racist Science’, 283-285. [10] This essay understands the ‘Global South’ as the countries and people living in the southern hemisphere and colonised world. See Anderson, ‘Racial Conceptions’, 782-784. [11] Helen Tilly, Africa as a Living Laboratory: Empire, Development, and the Problem of Scientific Knowledge, 1870-1950 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011), pp. 10-13, 310-311; Helen Tilley, ‘Racial Science, Geopolitics, and Empires: Paradoxes of Power’, Isis 105 (2014), 773-781 (pp. 773-774, 779). [12] Gil-Riaño, ‘Relocating Anti-Racist Science’, 284, 302-303; Erik Linstrum, Ruling Minds: Psychology in the British Empire (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2016), pp. 168-171. [13] Jock McCulloch, Colonial Psychiatry and the “African Mind” (Cambridge University Press, 1995), pp. 1-5, 67-68; Megan Vaughan, ‘Introduction’ in Psychiatry and Empire ed. by Sloan Mahone and Megan Vaughan (Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), pp. 1-16 (pp. 1-2, 6-7, 11). [14] Ibid., pp. 8-9, 14-15. [15] Elise K. Burton, ‘Narrating Ethnicity and Diversity in Middle Eastern National Genome Projects’, Social Studies of Science, 48 (2018), 762-786 (pp. 763-764). [16] Stepan, The Idea of Race in Science, pp. 172-174; Barkan, The Retreat of Scientific Racism, pp. 342-345. [17] Anthony Q. Hazard Jr, ‘A Racialized Deconstruction? Ashley Monagu and the 1950 UNESCO Statement on Race’, Transforming Anthropology, 19:2 (2011), 174-186 (p. 176). [18] Jenny Bangham, ‘What Is Race? UNESCO, mass communication and human genetics in the early 1950s’, History of the Human Sciences, 28:5 (2015), 80-107 (pp. 92-93); Alana Lentin, ‘Replacing ‘race’, historicizing ‘culture’ in multiculturalism’, Patterns of Prejudice, 39:4 (2005), 379-396 (p. 385); Selcer, ‘Beyond the Cephalic Index’, 175-176. [19] Métraux, ‘Fallacies of Racism’, 9. [20] Mark Mazower, No Enchanted Palace: the end of empire and the ideological origins of the United Nations (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009), pp. 17-18, 22-23; Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo, José Pedro Monteiro, ‘Pasts to Be Unveiled: The Interconnections Between the International and the Imperial’ in Internationalism, Imperialism and the Formation of the Contemporary World The Pasts of the Present ed. by Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo and José Pedro Monteiro (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), pp. 1-29 (pp. 1-2, 5, 10-13). [21] Glenda Sluga, ‘UNESCO and the (One) World of Julian Huxley’, Cosmopolitanism in World History, 21:3 (2010), 393-418 (pp. 402-406). [22] For such narratives, see Michael Banton, ‘Social aspects of the race question’ in Four statements on the race question (Paris: UNESCO, 1969), pp. 17-29, UNESCO Digital Library <> [last accessed 15 March 2021]; Jean Hiernaux, ‘Biological Aspects of the Race Question’ in Four statements on the race question (Paris: UNESCO, 1969), pp. 9-16, UNESCO Digital Library <> [last accessed 15 March 2021]. [23] Gil-Riaño, ‘Relocating Anti-Racist Science’, 281-284; Lentin, ‘Replacing ‘race’’, 379-381; Seth, ‘Relocating Race’, 761-762; Tilley, ‘Racial Science, Geopolitics, and Empires’, 773-774. [24] Ibid., 285-287; Hazard, ‘A Racialized Deconstruction?’, 178-179. [25] Ibid., 178, Hazard, Postwar anti-racism, pp. 44-45. [26] Tilley, ‘Racial Science, Geopolitics, and Empires’, 773-774. [27] Ibid., 778-779. [28] Selcer, ‘Beyond the Cephalic Index’, 177-178, 180; Brattain, ‘Race, Racism and Anti-Racism’. 1386-1388. [29] See Banton, ‘Social aspects’, pp. 17-19; Alfred Métraux, ‘A Man with racial prejudice is as pathetic as his victim’, UNESCO Courier 6:8-9, (1953), 3-4 (p. 3), UNESCO Digital Library <> [last accessed 13 April 2021]. [30] Gil-Riaño, ‘Relocating Anti-Racist Science’, 284. [31] Lentin, ‘Replacing ‘race’’, 385; Gil-Riaño, ‘Relocating Anti-Racist Science’, 281-284. [32] ‘Statement on race, Paris, 1950’ in Four statements on the race question (Paris: UNESCO, 1969), pp. 30-35 (pp. 32-33), UNESCO Digital Library <> [last accessed 15 March 2021]. [33] ‘Statement on the nature of race and race differences, Paris, 1951’ in Four statements on the race question (Paris: UNESCO, 1969), pp. 36-43 (pp. 40-42), UNESCO Digital Library <> [last accessed 20 March 2021]. [34] ‘1951 Statement on the nature of race’, pp. 40-42; ‘1950 Statement on race’, pp. 32-33. [35] Gil-Riaño, ‘Relocating Anti-Racist Science’, 300. [36] Nancy Stepan, In the Hour of Eugenics: Race, Gender, and Nation in Latin America (Ithaca, NY, Cornell University Press, 1991), pp. 154-155, 158-159, 199; Gil-Riaño, ‘Relocating Anti-Racist Science’, 287-290. [37] Ibid., 290; ‘1950 Statement on race’, p. 35. [38] A.P. Elkins, ‘The Bushmen of Australia in modern civilization’, UNESCO Courier, 6:8-9 (1953), pp. 11-13 (pp. 12-13), UNESCO Digital Archive <> [last accessed 13 April 2021]. [39] Warwick Anderson, The Cultivation of Whiteness: science, health and racial destiny in Australia (Carlton, Vic: Melbourne University, 2005), pp. 6-7, 249-251. [40] Ibid., pp. 7, 258; Anderson, ‘Racial Conceptions’, 786-787. [41] Gil-Riaño, ‘Relocating Anti-Racist Science’, 282-283, 300-303; Hazard, Postwar anti-racism, pp. 60-62. [42] ‘1950 Statement on race’, pp. 32-33; ‘1951 Statement on the nature of race’, p. 41. [43] Nils Gilman, Mandarins of the Future: Modernization Theory in Cold War America (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2003), pp. 1-2, 12-15. [44] Quoted from Arturo Escobar, Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995), p. 3. [45] Ibid., pp. 3-4, 6, 35-37; Bangham, ‘What is Race?’, 99-100. [46] ‘Proposals on the biological aspects of race, Moscow, 1964’ in Four statements on the race question (Paris: UNESCO, 1969), pp. 44-49 (pp. 47-48), UNESCO Digital Library <> [last accessed 15 March 2021]. [47]‘Statement on race and racial prejudice, Paris, 1967’, in Four statements on the race question (Paris: UNESCO, 1969), pp. 50-56 (pp. 51-53), UNESCO Digital Library <> [last accessed 15 March 2021]; Hazard, Postwar anti-racism, pp. 156-158, 161. [48]Ibid., pp. 161-163; Selcer, ‘Beyond the Cephalic Index’, 179-180. [49] Barkan, The Retreat of Scientific Racism, pp. 345-346. [50] Lentin, ‘Replacing ‘race’’, 384-385; Stepan, The Idea of Race, p. xvi. See for instance: Banton, ‘Social aspects’, pp. 25, 28. [51] Jock McCulloch, Colonial Psychiatry and the “African Mind” (Cambridge University Press, 1995), pp. 58-59. [52]Ibid., p. 1. [53]Sloan Mahone, ‘East African Psychiatry and the Practical Problems of Empire’ in Psychiatry and Empire ed. by Sloan Mahone and Megan Vaughan (Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), pp. 41-66 (pp. 42-43, 46, 57); McCulloch, Colonial Psychiatry, pp. 1-3. [54] Ibid., pp. 58-59. [55] Ibid., pp. 61-62. [56]Keller, ‘Taking Science to the Colonies’, pp. 17-18. [57] J.C. Carothers, The African Mind in health and disease: a study in ethnopsychiatry (Geneva: World Health Organization, 1953), pp. 1-177 (pp. 95-96), World Health Organization, <> [last accessed 23 March 2021]. [58] See ibid., pp. 41-55; McCulloch, Colonial Psychiatry, p. 63; Gil-Riaño, ‘Relocating Anti-Racist Science’, 302. [59] ‘1950 Statement on race’, p. 32; ‘1951 Statement on the nature of race’, pp. 41-42; McCulloch, Colonial Psychiatry, p. 71. [60] Vaughan, ‘Introduction’, pp. 6-8; Richard C. Keller, ‘Taking Science to the Colonies: Psychiatric Innovation in France and North Africa’ in Psychiatry and Empire ed. by Sloan Mahone and Megan Vaughan (Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), pp. 17-40 (pp. 17-18). [61] Ibid., pp, 17-18, 22-23; Richard Keller, Colonial Madness: Psychiatry in French North Africa (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007), pp. 5-7, 152. [62] Erik Linstrum, Ruling Minds: Psychology in the British Empire (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2016), pp. 155-157, 167, 180, 183. [63] Ibid., pp. 185-187. [64] Vaughan, ‘Introduction’, pp. 6-8, 11-12. [65] Keller, ‘Taking Science to the Colonies’, pp. 33-34; Keller, Colonial Madness, p. 148. [66] Ibid., pp. 150-151, 155. [67] Ibid., pp. 123, 155-156; Keller, ‘Taking Science to the Colonies’, pp. 30-31. [68] Linstrum, Ruling Minds, pp. 1-2, 157; Keller, Colonial Madness, p. 152. [69] Ibid., pp. 150-151. [70] Mahone, ‘East African Psychiatry’, pp. 58-59. [71] McCulloch, Colonial Psychiatry, pp. 164-168. [72] Ibid.; Dane Kennedy, ‘Constructing the Colonial Myth of Mau Mau’, The International Journal of African Historical Studies, 25:2 (1992), 241-260 (pp. 257-258). [73] Linstrum, Ruling Minds, p. 187; McCulloch, Colonial Psychiatry, pp. 68-71. [74] Ibid., pp. 70-71; Moritz Feichtinger, ‘A Great Reformatory’: Social Planning and Strategic Resettlement in Late Colonial Kenya and Algeria, 1952–63’, Journal of Contemporary History, 52:1 (2017), 45-72 (pp. 62-64) [75] ‘1950 Statement on race’, p. 32; ‘1951 Statement on the nature of race’, p. 40. [76] Katherine Bruce-Lockhart, ‘“Unsound” minds and broken bodies: the detention of “hardcore” Mau Mau women at Kamiti and Gitamayu Detention Camps in Kenya, 1954–1960’, Journal of Eastern African Studies, 8:4 (2014), 590-608 (pp. 602-603). [77] Ibid., 593-594, 600-603; Katherine Bruce-Lockhart, ‘Reconsidering Women’s Roles in the Mau Mau Rebellion in Kenya, 1952-1960’, in Decolonization and Conflict: Colonial Comparisons and Legacies ed. by Martin Thomas and Gareth Curless (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017), pp. 159-175 (pp. 164-165). [78] Gil-Riaño, ‘Relocating Anti-Racist Science’, 283-284, 302-303. [79] Barkan, The Retreat of Scientific Racism, pp. 343-346; Stepan, The Idea of Race in Science, pp. 172-173. [80] Frederick Cooper, ‘Development, Modernization, and the Social Sciences in the Era of Decolonization: The Examples of British and French Africa’ in The ends of European colonial empires: cases and comparisons ed. by Miguel Bandeira Jeronimo, Antonio Costa-Pinto (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), pp. 15-50 (pp. 15-17, 22, 29); Christophe Bonneuil, ‘Development as Experiment: Science and State Building in Late Colonial and Postcolonial Africa, 1930-1970’, Osiris, 15 (2000), 258-281 (pp. 258-261). [81] Gil-Riaño, ‘Relocating Anti-Racist Science’, 302-303. [82] Muriam Haleh Davis, ‘‘The Transformation of Man’ in French Algeria: Economic Planning and the Postwar Social Sciences, 1958–62’, Journal of Contemporary History, 52:1 (2017), 73-94 (pp. 73-74). [83] Ibid., 74-76, 80-82. [84] Ibid., 74, 76, 80. [85] Ibid., 76, 82, 85. [86] Ibid., 80-83. [87] Keller, ‘Taking Science to the Colonies’, pp. 23-25; Davis, ‘The Transformation of Man’, 73-76, 93 [88] Feichtinger, ‘A Great Reformatory’, 52-54, 70. [89] James Poskett, ‘Racial Science’ in The Routledge Handbook of Science and Empire (Routledge: Forthcoming, 2021), pp. 1-22 (p. 2). [90] Keller, ‘Taking Science to the Colonies’, pp. 33-34. [91] Tilley, ‘Racial Science, Geopolitics, and Empires’, 778-779; Tilley, Africa as a Living Laboratory, pp. 258-259, 310-311; Linstrum, Ruling Minds, pp. 1-3. [92] Anderson, ‘Racial Conceptions’, 791-792. [93] Gil-Riaño, ‘Relocating Anti-Racist Science’, 301-303. [94] Vaughan, ‘Introduction’, pp. 9-10, 14-15. [95] Matthew M. Heaton, ‘Thomas Adeoye Lambo and the Decolonization of Psychiatry in Nigeria’, in Science and empire: Knowledge and networks of science across the British Empire, 1800-1970 ed. by Brett M. Bennett and Joseph M. Hodge (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), pp. 275-296 (pp. 275-276). [96] Ibid., pp. 280-282; McCulloch, Colonial Psychiatry, pp. 58-60. [97] Heaton, ‘Thomas Adeoye Lambo’, pp. 283-284. [98] Ibid., pp. 276, 283-285. [99] Ibid., pp. 285-286. [100] Gil-Riaño, ‘Relocating Anti-Racist Science’, 301-303; Lentin, ‘Replacing ‘race’’, 385. [101] Keller, Colonial Madness, pp. 164-165. [102] Ibid.; McCulloch, Colonial Psychiatry, pp. 135-136. [103] Ibid., p. 135. [104] Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth trans. by Constance Farrington (New York: Grove Press, 1963), pp. 300-304. [105] Warwick Anderson, Hans Pols, ‘Scientific Patriotism: Medical Science and National Self- Fashioning in Southeast Asia’, Comparative Studies in Society and History 54, 1 (2012): 93–113 (pp. 93-94, 111); Hans Pol, ‘The Nature of the Native Mind: Contested Views of Dutch Colonial Psychiatrists in the former Dutch East Indies’ in Psychiatry and Empire ed. by Sloan Mahone and Megan Vaughan (Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), pp. 172-196 (p. 190). [106] Mahone, ‘East African Psychiatry’, pp. 58-59; Vaughan, ‘Introduction’, pp. 1-2, 11, 15. [107] Heaton, ‘Thomas Adeoye Lambo’, pp. 287, 290. [108] Ibid., pp. 287-288. [109] McCulloch, Colonial Psychiatry, pp. 46-47. [110] Heaton, ‘Thomas Adeoye Lambo’, pp. 287; ‘Report of the International Pilot Study of Schizophrenia’, (International Pilot Study of Schizophrenia & World Health Organization, 1973), World Health Organization <> [last accessed 30 March 2021]. [111] McCulloch, Colonial Psychiatry, pp. 1-2. [112] Heaton, ‘Thomas Adeoyo Lambo’, p. 290; Raj, ‘Beyond Postcolonialism’, 345-347. [113] Alice Bullard, ‘Imperial Networks and Postcolonial Independence: The Transition from Colonial to Transcultural Psychiatry’, in Psychiatry and Empire ed. by Sloan Mahone and Megan Vaughan (Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), pp. 197-219 (p. 209). See point VII on Primary health care: ‘Declaration of Alma-Ata, International Conference on Primary Health Care, Alma-Ata, USSR, 6-12 September 1978’, pp. 1-3 (pp. 2-3), World Health Organization, <> [last accessed 20 April 2021]. [114] Keller, ‘Taking Science to the Colonies’, pp. 17-18; Heaton, ‘Thomas Adeoyo Lambo’, p. 277. [115] McCulloch, Colonial Psychiatry, pp. 135-136. [116] Ibid., p. 136. [117] Heaton, ‘Thomas Adeoyo Lambo’, pp. 290-292. [118] Ibid., p. 287. [119] Elsie K. Burton, ‘“Essential Collaborators”: Locating Middle Eastern Geneticists in the Global Scientific Infrastructure, 1950s–1970s’, Comparative Studies in Society and History, 60:1 (2018), 119-149 (pp. 120-122). [120] For decolonisation as an ‘unfinished’ process see: Martin Thomas, Andrew Thompson, ‘Rethinking Decolonization: A New Research Agenda for the Twenty-First Century’, in The Oxford Handbook of the Ends of Empire ed. by Martin Thomas and Andrew Thompson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), pp. 1-22 (p. 22). [121] Ibid. [122] Roberta Bivins, ‘Hybrid Vigour? Genes, Genomics, and History’, Genomics, Society, and Policy, 4:1 (2008), 12-22 (pp. 14-15); Maritus Turda, ‘Race, Science, and Eugenics in the Twentieth Century’ in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics ed. by Alison Bashford and Philippa Levine (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 62-74 (pp. 64, 71). [123] Bangham, ‘What Is Race?’, 82-83. Also see Hiernaux, ‘Biological aspects’, pp. 10-15; ‘1950 Statement on race’, pp. 31-32; ‘1951 Statement on the nature of race’, pp. 39, 41-42. [124] Elise K. Burton, ‘Red Crescents: Race, Genetics, and Sickle Cell Disease in the Middle East’, Isis 110 (2019), 250-269 (pp. 250-251). [125] Ibid., 262-264. [126] Ibid., 263-264, 267-268 [127] Ibid., 259-261, 268. [128] See Elise K. Burton, ‘Narrating Ethnicity and Diversity in Middle Eastern National Genome Projects’, Social Studies of Science, 48 (2018), 762-786 (pp. 762-764); Breckenridge, Biometric State, pp. 213-215. [129] Omnia El-Shakry, The great social laboratory: subjects of knowledge in colonial and postcolonial Egypt (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2007), pp. 12-13. [130] Ibid., pp. 13, 206-207; Dipesh Chakrabarty, ‘Legacies of Bandung: Decolonisation and the Politics of Culture’, Economic and Political Weekly 40:46 (2005), 4812-4818 (pp. 4812-4814). [131] Projit Bihari Mukharji, ‘The Bengali Pharaoh: Upper-Caste Aryanism, Pan-Egyptianism, and the Contested History of Biometric Nationalism in Twentieth-Century Bengal’, Comparative Studies in Society and History 59 (2017), 446-476 (pp. 453-456, 475-476); Projit Bihari Mukharji, ‘Profiling the Profiloscope: Facialization of Race Technologies and the Rise of Biometric Nationalism in Inter-War British India’, History and Technology 31:4 (2015), 376-396 (pp. 376-377). [132] Burton, ‘Red Crescents’, 251-252; Projit Bihari Mukharji, ‘From Serosocial to Sanguinary Identities: Caste, Transnational Race Science and the Shifting Metonymies of Blood Group B, India c. 1918–1960’, The Indian Economic & Social History Review 51 (2014), 143-176 (pp. 164-165). [133] Ibid. [134] Seth, ‘Introduction’, 759-760; Barkan, The Retreat of Scientific Racism, p. 346. [135] Anderson, ‘Racial Conceptions’, 782-783. [136] Gil-Riaño, ‘Relocating Anti-Racist Science’, 281-283. [137] Anderson, ‘Racial Conceptions’, 790-792. [138] Poskett, ‘Racial Science’, p. 2. [139] See Elise K. Burton, Genetic Crossroads: The Middle East and the Science of Human Heredity (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2021); Keller, Colonial Madness. [140] Mukharji, ‘From Serosocial Sanguinary Identities’, 148; Anderson, ‘Racial Conceptions’, 784; Raj, ‘Beyond Postcolonialism’, 337-340, 347. [141] See, for instance, Tilley, Africa as a Living Laboratory; McCulloch, Colonial Psychiatry; Keller, Colonial Madness; Anderson, The Cultivation of Whiteness. [142] Useful examples of this include Angela Saini, Superior: The Return of Race Science (London: 4th Estate, 2019); Breckenridge, Biometric State, pp. 213-214; Burton, Genetic Crossroads.

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