More than 25 years after the passage of civil rights legislation in the US, and several decades since the last European colonies attained their independence, race continues to play a central role in cultural, political and economic life around the globe. It divides people and nations, insinuates itself into policies, and shapes basic ideas about human identity and difference. This work offers a theoretical approach to the vast subject of race. The author, one of America's most prominent writers on the subject, shows how race - far from being a transient social problem or a survival from earlier ages - remains a permanent, though flexible, feature of human society and identity. The key to this project is Winant's racial formation theory, an approach he refines and advances as he considers a wide range of contemporary controversies in racial theory and politics. Always attentive to problems in this theoretical approach, including the relationship of race to hegemony, social class, fascism, diaspora, gender, and colonialism, Winant focuses on issues such as: the changing nature of racial identity in the post-civil rights US; the 1992 Los Angeles riot; and racial politics in Brazil.