Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration and the Future of White Majorities

Event Date: 15 November 2018
UCL Darwin B40 Lecture Theatre
University College London,
Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT

The Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life presents:

Eric Kaufmann’s new book Whiteshift argues that we need to talk about white identity if we hope to address the root causes of populism and polarisation. The West is in the midst of two epochal demographic transformations. First, the white share of the population is projected to drop to less than half the total by 2050 in North America and 2100 in Western Europe. Second, the mixed-race population is projected to rise exponentially late this century to form the majority in western countries by the early 2100s. The first phase of Whiteshift, which we are currently in, increases the existential insecurity of conservative whites and emboldens the cosmopolitan left, with its dream of radical cultural transformation. Left-liberal hegemony in the high culture and its attempt to stanch the expression of conservative anxieties in established institutions has delegitmated the cultural elite in the eyes of conservatives, opening space for right-wing populism and ‘culture wars’ polarisation. The advent of mass racial melting offers a way out of this impasse, if we are able to grasp it.

Panelists will discuss aspects of the theme of ‘Right-Wing Populism and the Left’ alongside Kaufmann’s new book. Copies of this and panellists’ books will be available for purchase at the drinks reception following the event.


Eric Kaufmann is Professor of Politics at Birkbeck and author of the forthcoming Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration and the Future of White Majorities (Penguin Allen Lane, 25 October, 2018)

Munira Mirza was Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture of London. She is author of The Politics of Culture: The Case for Universalism (2012).

Trevor Phillips, writer and broadcaster, was formerly head of the Commission for Racial Equality and the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

John Judis, author of a new book The Nationalist Revival: Trade, Immigration, and the Revolt Against Globalization (2018) and The Populist Explosion (2016), an editor-at-large at Talking Points Memo, a former senior writer at The National Journal and a former senior editor at The New Republic.

David Goodhart, author of The Road to Somewhere: the Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics (2017), and The British Dream. He was founding editor of Prospect magazine, was director of the think tank Demos and is currently Head of the Demography, Immigration and Integration Unit at the think tank Policy Exchange.


Robert Singh, Professor of Politics at Birkbeck will chair the event. Robert is is a specialist in contemporary US politics and the politics of American foreign policy. He is the author of eleven books – including, most recently, In Defense of the United States Constitution (Routledge, 2018)



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