Post-millennial local whiteness: racialism, white dis/advantage and the denial of racism

St Louis, Brett. 2021. Post-millennial local whiteness: racialism, white dis/advantage and the denial of racism. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 44(3), pp. 355-373. ISSN 0141-9870 [Article]

SOC_St Louis2020a.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (397kB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

In the tumultuous early 21st century, vigorous appeals to whiteness in Britain are largely attributed to populist ethno-nationalism. This article offers a complementary critical account focusing on the use of ‘racialism’ as a purportedly non-invidious theoretical framework for describing racial differences and resultant societal impacts. Drawing on recent examples, especially the work of David Goodhart and Eric Kaufmann, I consider the deployment of racialism to characterise a benign white ethno-racial communalism based on ‘self-interest’ and a positive preference for ‘co-ethnics’ sharing common values. I suggest that racialist local whiteness is used to pursue two repudiatory projects: first, politically weakening black, Asian and minority ethnic groups by constituting white disadvantage; and second, disarming accounts of pervasive and systemic racism by naturalising racial stratification. Ultimately, I argue that an understanding of racialist local whiteness guards against the racial reification of populist nationalism and illuminates the deeper entrenchment of racism.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):

Additional Information:

“This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Ethnic and Racial Studies on 23 July 2020, available online:”


Whiteness, racialism, racism, race, ethnicity, nativism

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



14 July 2020Accepted
23 July 2020Published Online

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

23 Jul 2020 12:03

Last Modified:

28 Apr 2022 17:06

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)