The Ralph Bunche Award is given annually for the best scholarly work in political science that explores the phenomenon of ethnic and cultural pluralism.
Marisa Abrajano and Zoltan L. Hajnal’s White Backlash: Immigration, Race, and American Politics, is a new and important take on immigration and what the changing demographics of the U.S. means for the reshaping of American politics. This empirically rich work uses a myriad of data and unique data sets to explain the policy preferences and electoral choices of American voters. White Backlash also raises important twenty-first century questions pertaining to white American fears about immigration. Abrajano and Hajnal present sound theoretical arguments as to how immigration influences white Americans’ core political identities and partisan change from the Democratic to Republican Party. One of the greatest contributions of this book is its use for political science scholars as well as policy practitioners, and Abrajano and Hajnal’s findings have implications for changing race relations, coalitions, and future elections. Additionally, they find that increased racial and ethnic diversity is the contributing factor in the increased racial divides in American politics. On the cusp of one of the most important presidential elections in our nation’s history, White Backlash is timely and essential to understanding the electoral choices of diverse groups in the American electorate.
Special thanks to our committee Christina Greer, Kanchan Chandra, and Marc Helbling.