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THE TIMES, SUNDAY TIMES, FINANCIAL TIMES and EVENING STANDARD BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2018
Whiteshift tells the most important political story of the 21st century: how demographic change is transforming Western politics and how to think about the future of white majorities
'Powerful and rigorously researched. . . this is a book that speaks to the most urgent and difficult issues of our time' - John Gray, author of Seven Types of Atheism
This is the century of whiteshift. As Western societies are becoming increasingly mixed-race, demographic change is transforming politics. Over half of American babies are non-white, and by the end of the century, minorities and those of mixed race are projected to form the majority in the UK and other countries. The early stages of this transformation have led to a populist disruption, tearing a path through the usual politics of left and right. One of the most crucial challenges of our time is to enable conservatives as well as cosmopolitans to view whiteshift as a positive development.
In this groundbreaking book, political scientist Eric Kaufmann examines the evidence to explore ethnic change in Western Europe and North America. Tracing four ways of dealing with this transformation - fight, repress, flight and join - he charts different scenarios and calls for us to move beyond empty talk about national identity. If we want to avoid more radical political divisions, he argues, we have to open up debate about the future of white majorities.
Deeply thought provoking, Whiteshift offers a wealth of data to redefine the way we discuss race in the twenty-first century.
In this ambitious and provocative work, politics professor Kaufmann (The Rise and Fall of Anglo-America) delves into white anxiety about the demographic decline of white populations in Western nations. He argues that liberal immigration and refugee policies threaten whites' "ethno-traditional nationalism" their emotional attachment to a nation in which their ethnic identity predominates which has fueled the growth of populist right-wing political movements. The author chastises "left-modernist" elites in academia and the media for curtailing frank discussion about immigration, popularizing a dangerously broad and "ethereal" definition of racism, and insisting on what he describes as an "asymmetrical multiculturalism" in which whites must celebrate other groups' identities while rejecting their own. Although demographic trends predict mixed-race Western majorities in the coming decades, Kaufmann theorizes that Westerners will broaden their racial definition of whiteness, enfolding new populations into a white-identifying majority. He suggests that whites' fears of cultural transformation can be ameliorated by restricting immigration and promoting a "multi-vocal" nationalism that legitimizes both conservatives' ethnic identities and liberals' cosmopolitan vision. Although it has a marked point of view, this is a data-driven work, informed by public opinion studies and theoretical insights from psychology, philosophy, and anthropology. This challenging book is likely to make a big splash and certain to appeal to quantitatively inclined centrists and conservatives longing for an academic defender. \n