Culture, Empire and Race in the European Project

August 2023 9781787389328 248pp
Forthcoming Pre-order
Available as an eBook
EU Customers


The European Union is often seen as a cosmopolitan rejection of violent nationalism. Yet the idea of Europe has a long, problematic history—in medieval times, it was synonymous with Christianity; in the modern era, it became associated with ‘whiteness’.

Eurowhiteness exposes the EU as a vehicle for imperial amnesia. Narratives of European integration emphasise the lessons of war and the Holocaust, but not the lessons of colonial history. The EU is about power as much as peace—and civic ideas of Europe are being displaced by ethnic and cultural ones.

Since the 2015 refugee crisis, whiteness has become even more central to European identity—a troubling new turn in Europe’s long civilisational project. It is time to confront the relationship between ideas of Europe and ideas of race.


‘A fascinating book challenging the myths surrounding the EU. For some, this will be uncomfortable reading.’ — Professor Anand Menon, Director of UK in a Changing Europe

‘Kundnani asks some hard and important questions about the EU’s history, and his answers illuminate a great deal about European self-understanding.’ — Professor Helen Thompson, co-host of Talking Politics

‘Kundnani shows that ideas of race are central to European thinking about politics. In the shadow of Ukraine, it’s important for us to face this truth.’ — Professor Kwame Anthony Appiah, author of The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity

‘Elegantly logical—and sure to challenge many readers’ assumptions.’ — Professor Brendan Simms, author of Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy and Britain’s Europe


Hans Kundnani is an associate fellow and former Europe programme director at Chatham House, and the author of Utopia or Auschwitz; The Paradox of German Power; and Eurowhiteness, all published by Hurst. Hans writes regularly for The Observer, The Guardian, The New Statesman and Foreign Affairs, among others.

Request an academic inspection copy Request a press review copy
Inspection Copy Request
Review Copy Request
Join our mailing list

Subscribers receive exclusive discounts and early access to new books from Hurst.