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Event details of Majority Minority; How do societies respond to great demographic change?
9 March 2023
15:30 -17:00

This question lingers over the contemporary politics of many countries where persistent immigration has altered populations. And may soon produce a majority minority milestone, where the original ethnic or religious majority loses its numerical advantage to one or more foreign-origin minority groups.

Until now, most of our knowledge about large-scale responses to demographic change has been based on studies of individual people’s reactions, which tend to be instinctively defensive and intolerant. We know little about why and how these habits are sometimes tempered to promote more successful coexistence.

In Majority Minority, Justin Gest wields polling research, historical analysis, and interview-based fieldwork inside six of the world’s few societies that have already experienced a majority minority transition to understand what factors produce different social outcomes.

Grounded in rich narratives and surprising survey findings, Majority Minority reveals that this contentious milestone and its accompanying identity politics are ultimately subject to unifying or divisive governance.


Justin Gest is an Associate Professor of Policy and Government at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. He is the author of six books, primarily on the politics of immigration and demographic change—all from Oxford University Press or Cambridge University Press.

He has also provided commentary, analysis, or reporting to a number of broadcast networks, including ABC, BBC, CBC, CNN, and NPR, and news publications including The Boston Globe, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, POLITICO, Reuters, The Times, and The Washington Post.

From 2010 to 2014, Professor Gest was a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer in Harvard University’s Departments of Government and Sociology. From 2007 to 2010, he co-founded and served as the co-director of the Migration Studies Unit at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).


Dr. J.M.J. (Jeroen) Doomernik

Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen

Programmagroep: Transnational Configurations, Conflict and Governance

Dr. M.J.M. (Marcel) Maussen

Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen

Programmagroep: Challenges to Democratic Representation


Dr. S.A. (Saskia) Bonjour

Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen

Programmagroep: Challenges to Democratic Representation


Roeterseilandcampus - building A

Room A1.02
Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
1018 WV Amsterdam