1st Edition

The Politics of Replacement Demographic Fears, Conspiracy Theories, and Race Wars

Edited By Sarah Bracke, Luis Manuel Hernández Aguilar Copyright 2024
    306 Pages 4 Color & 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    306 Pages 4 Color & 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    306 Pages 4 Color & 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Politics of Replacement explores current demographic conspiracy theories and their entanglement with different forms of racism and exclusionary politics such as sexism.

    The book focuses on population replacement conspiracy theories, that is, those imaginaries and discourses centered on the idea that the national population is under threat of being overtaken or even wiped out by those considered as “alien” to the nation and that this is the result of concerted efforts by “elites”. Replacement conspiracy theories are on the rise again: from Eurabia fantasies to Renaud Camus’ The Great Replacement, white supremacist discourses are thriving and increasingly broadcasting in mainstream venues. To account for their rise and spread, this edited volume brings together research on various dimensions of population replacement conspiracy theories: different theoretical and methodological approaches, different social scientific and humanities (inter)disciplinary backgrounds, different geographical case studies (across Europe, North America, Southeast Asia, and Oceania), different time periods (medieval archives, colonial archives, Nazi archives, postcolonial migrations, post-9/11), and different forms of racialization and racisms (Islamophobia, antisemitism, racism against migrants and refugees). It also explores the entanglement of population replacement discourse with gendered violence. The book is organized into four sections: (1) exploring the historical background of the current rise of demographic conspiracy theories; (2) tracing the (neoliberal) governmentalities in and through which replacement discourse operates; (3) analyzing the particularly intense focus on the threat of Muslims in contemporary replacement conspiracy theories, and (4) investigating the connection between replacement conspiracies, gender, and violence.

    This title is essential reading for scholars, journalists, and activists interested in the contemporary far right, conspiracy theories, and racisms.

    The Politics of Replacement: From “Race Suicide” to the “Great Replacement”  

    Sarah Bracke and Luis Manuel Hernández Aguilar   


    1.      Malthusian Fears in Current Migration Debates: Contemporary Manifestations of Malthusianization Soumaya Majdoub  

    2.      Das Boot ist Voll, The Boat is Full: Genealogy and Policy Consequences of an Ecological-Nativist Paradigm Esther Romeyn  

    3.      Birth Rates and the Cleansing of Impure Blood: Shaping the “Muslim Question” in the Balkans Dino Suhonic

    4.      “Reverse Colonization”: Early Narratives of Decline in the French New Right Lou Mousset

    5.      European Histories, Australian Anxieties: The Christchurch Killer in Context Jack Wilson and Louie Dean Valencia

    6.      Ecofascism and the Politics of Replacement in the Discourse of the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) Sindre Bangstad and Maria Darwish   


     7.      Colonial Census and Saffron Demography: The Shaping of Numerical Communities and Contestations in India Sayan Das

    8.      The Majority Oppressed? On the Legitimacy of Majority Rights Tamar de Waal and Jan Willem Duyvendak

    9.      The Affordances of Replacement Narratives: How the White Genocide and Great Replacement Theories Converge in Poorly Moderated Online Milieus  Emillie de Keulenaar and Marc Tuters

    10.  Mainstreaming the Great Replacement: The Role of Centrist Discourses in the Mainstreaming of a Far-Right Conspiracy Theory  Nik Linders

    11.  From Clashing Civilizations to the Replacement of Populations: The Transformation of Dutch Anti-immigration Discourse  Merijn Oudenampsen  


    12.  The Body Never ‘Falls Out’ of Islamophobia  Sahar Ghumkhor

    13.  The Gastro-Politics of Replacement:  How Imaginations of a Muslim Takeover Become ‘Real’ Through Food  Margaretha A. van Es

    14.  Striving for Transparency: Mosques as Sites for Public Interrogation in Contemporary Germany  Iskandar Ahmad Abdalla

    15.  The Great Supersession: Racialization and Replacement in US Evangelical Islamophobia  S. Jonathon O’Donnell  


    16.  Fascism and the Violent Replacement of The People  Mattias Gardell

    17.  “A Victory for White Life”: Reproduction, Replacement, and a Handmaid’s Tale  Sarah Bracke  

    18.  The King of Tars: A Medieval Rendition of Replacement Theories  Anya Topolski  


    Sarah Bracke is Professor of Sociology of Gender and Sexuality at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She is the principal investigator of the research project EnGendering Europe’s “Muslim Question”, funded by the Dutch Research Council.

    Luis Manuel Hernández Aguilar is an associate researcher at the European University Viadrina, Frankfurt Oder, Germany. He holds a PhD in sociology by the Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main. His research interests focus on racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism, conspiracy theories, and the far right.

    'Nativism is the core ideological feature of the far right and is primarily expressed through replacement conspiracy theories. The Political of Replacement shows the mainstreaming and normalization of these deadly conspiracy theories in culture and politics as well as their deadly consequences around the world. Essential reading to understand the far-right threat to democracy!'

    Cas Mudde, University of Georgia, USA; author of The Far Right Today

    'In a “post-truth” society, disinformation campaigns, bigoted propaganda, and conspiracy theories circulate with impunity on social media platforms and within increasingly porous far-right echo chambers. The Politics of Replacement provides a timely and incisive cartography of demographic replacement theories and how they have gained traction and spread racist, xenophobic, and Islamophobic ideologies transnationally. The book powerfully examines right-wing populist imaginaries that promote demographic fears, white nationalism, and anti-Muslim racism that create moral panics and shore up xenophobic state policies. The authors offer unique interdisciplinary vistas to unpack the various ways population replacement theories travel and mutate beyond their traditional discursive and geographic borders. These are not purely theoretical issues, rather they speak urgently to the need to understand and debunk the narratives that inspire xenophobic nationalism, Islamophobia, and racial violence across the globe. This book is a must read, alerting us to the discursive underpinnings of replacement theories and their historical, bio- political, gendered, religious, and racial formations as variegated transnational projects. Few books have managed to address the complexities of these issues with such intellectual skill, rigour, and compelling insight.'

    Jasmin Zine, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada; author of Under Siege: Islamophobia and the 9/11 Generation and The Canadian Islamophobia Industry: Mapping Islamophobia’s Ecosystem in the Great White North