Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights - anti-racist policy making: review

Findings of a research programme into Scottish race equality strategies since 2000. The Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER) was commissioned to support the implementation of this review, with a focus on exploring opportunities for better practice.


The results of this review provide a clear pathway towards improving anti-racist policy making in Scotland.

In the wake of 2020, with disparities laid bare by COVID-19's disproportionate impact on BME people and the Black Lives Matter movement, a rare point of interest convergence on anti-racism has arrived within Scottish Government. As racism in itself is a structural problem, the question for policy makers is how to build the systems and structures to sustain this momentum.

Within the unique political and social structures of the UK, Scotland's vocal commitment to an egalitarian and inclusive national identity is often celebrated.

However, this review has demonstrated that much race equality policy has the right rhetoric, but not the right outcome. As Satnam Virdee and the late Neil Davidson stated in the introduction to their ground-breaking book No Problem Here: Understanding Racism in Scotland, "It is crucial to remain alive to the disjuncture between elite discourse on migration and the lived reality of racialised minorities in Scotland."[180]

Previous experience has shown that, no matter how strong the commitment of allies within Scottish Government, race equality policy will falter unless it is fully embedded in organisational culture and practice.

Now is the time to re-examine and focus in on what will actively work to improve the lives of minority ethnic people. An anti-racist perspective is the key to understanding this.

This review provides concrete evidence in support of this position. In doing so, it also affirms that Scottish Government's commitment to effective, anti-racist policy making is both welcome and much needed.



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