Chair: Lauren Maffeo (MSc '12 and AFLSE DC Chapter Co-Chair)
Speaker: Justin Gest (PhD '10)
Assistant Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government.
Author of The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality (Oxford University Press, 2016)
The White Working Class Vote: A Presidential Postmortem with Justin Gest.
The 2016 U.S. Presidential election is done. In true 2016 fashion, the polls were wrong, the underdog won, and the world faces a political abyss. Many are wondering how the U.S. arrived at this seismic shift in political discourse; few understand that shift better than Justin Gest.
Professor Gest's latest book, The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality, explores decades of anger in working class cities. He documents the rise of "post-traumatic cities" in the US and UK; anti-political behavior within these cities; and increasing anger at elites in large cities.
In this discussion, Professor Gest will share his research explaining how the white working class feels disenfranchised by their status as the "new minority." He will put this research in the context of the U.S. election results, and explain why the white working class is both an increasing minority and political game-changer.
Finally, Professor Gest will share his insights on what white working class voters want; whether these goals can be achieved under a Trump presidency; and how increasingly different groups of citizens should engage each other.
Following a fireside chat, Professor Gest will engage in a town hall-style audience forum. A reception with light appetizers will follow.
About the Speaker
Justin Gest is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. His teaching and research interests include comparative politics, minority political behavior, and immigration policy.
In the field of minority political behavior, his earlier research focused on Muslim political behavior in Western democracies. This work was collected in Apart: Alienated and Engaged Muslims in the West (Oxford University Press/Hurst, 2010). He recently published a follow-up study that applies his conclusions to white working class people. This work is entitled The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality (Oxford University Press, 2016).
From 2010 to 2014, Professor Gest was a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer in Harvard University’s Department of Government. In 2014, he received the Joseph R. Levenson Memorial Teaching Prize, Harvard’s highest award for teaching.
In 2013, he received the 2013 Star Family Prize for Student Advising, Harvard’s highest award for student advising. From 2007 to 2010, while a doctoral student, he co-founded and served as the co-director of the Migration Studies Unit at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
He is a product of Los Angeles Unified School District’s University High School in West Los Angeles, where he grew up. He later earned his bachelor’s degree in Government at Harvard University and his PhD in Government from the LSE.