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The Great Replacement (French: Grand Remplacement), also known as replacement theory or great replacement theory,[1][2][3] is a white nationalist[4] far-right conspiracy theory[3][5][6][7] espoused by French author Renaud Camus. The original theory states that, with the complicity or cooperation of "replacist" elites,[a][5][8] the ethnic French and white European populations at large are being demographically and culturally replaced by non-white peoples—especially from Muslim-majority countries—through mass migration, demographic growth and a drop in the birth rate of white Europeans.[5][9][10] Since then, similar claims have been advanced in other national contexts, notably in the United States.[11] Mainstream scholars have dismissed these claims of a conspiracy of "replacist" elites as rooted in a misunderstanding of demographic statistics and premised upon an unscientific, racist worldview.[12][13][14] According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, the Great Replacement "has been widely ridiculed for its blatant absurdity."[3]

While similar themes have characterized various far-right theories since the late 19th century, the particular term was popularized by Camus in his 2011 book Le Grand Remplacement. The book associates the presence of Muslims in France with danger and destruction of French culture and civilization. Camus and other conspiracy theorists attribute recent demographic changes in Europe to intentional policies advanced by global and liberal elites (the "replacists") from within the Government of France, the European Union, or the United Nations; they describe it as a "genocide by substitution".[5]

The conspiracy theory found support in Europe, and has also grown popular among anti-migrant and white nationalist movements from other parts of the West; many of their adherents maintain that "immigrants [are] flocking to predominantly white countries for the precise purpose of rendering the white population a minority within their own land or even causing the extinction of the native population".[10] It aligns with (and is a part of) the larger white genocide conspiracy theory[b][10] except in the substitution of antisemitic canards with Islamophobia.[16][15][17] This substitution, along with a use of simple catch-all slogans, has been cited as one of the reasons for its broader appeal in a pan-European context,[16][18][19] although the concept remains rooted in antisemitism in many white nationalist movements, especially (but not exclusively) in the United States.[20][21]

Although Camus has publicly condemned white nationalist violence,[22][23] scholars have argued that calls to violence are implicit in his depiction of non-white migrants as an existential threat to white populations.[19][24] Several far-right terrorists, including the perpetrators of the 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings, the 2019 El Paso shooting, the 2022 Buffalo shooting and the 2023 Jacksonville shooting, have made reference to the "Great Replacement" conspiracy theory. American conservative media personalities, including Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, have espoused ideas of a replacement.[3] Some Republican politicians have endorsed the theory in order to appeal to far-right members of the Republican Party and as a way of signalling their loyalty to Donald Trump.[3]


Renaud Camus developed his conspiracy theory in two books published in 2010 and 2011, in the context of an increase in anti-immigrant rhetoric in public discourse during the previous decade.[25] Europe also experienced an escalation in Islamic terrorist attacks during the 2000s–2010s,[26] and a migrant crisis in the years 2015–2016,[27] which exacerbated tensions and prepared public opinion for the reception of Camus's conspiracy theory.[28][8] As the latter depicts a population replacement said to occur in a short time lapse of one or two generations, the migrant crisis was particularly conducive to the spread of Camus's ideas while the terrorist attacks accelerated the construction of immigrants as an existential threat among those who shared such a worldview.[8]

Camus's theme of a future demise of European culture and civilization also parallels a "cultural pessimistic" and anti-Islam trend among European intellectuals of the period, illustrated in several best-selling and straightforwardly titled books released during the 2010s: Thilo Sarrazin's Germany Abolishes Itself (2010), Éric Zemmour's The French Suicide (2014) or Michel Houellebecq's Submission (2015).[29]

Concept of Renaud Camus

Author Renaud Camus, progenitor of the "Great Replacement" conspiracy theory, September 2013

The "Great Replacement" conspiracy theory was developed by French author Renaud Camus, initially in a 2010 book titled L'Abécédaire de l'in-nocence ("Abecedarium of no-harm"),[c][32] and the following year in an eponymous book, Le Grand Remplacement (introduction au remplacisme global).[d] Camus has claimed that the name Grand Remplacement "came to [him], almost by chance, perhaps in a more or less unconscious reference to the Grand Dérangement of the Acadians in the 18th century."[33] As an epigraph to the later book, Camus chose Bertolt Brecht's quip from the satirical poem Die Lösung that the easiest thing to do for a government which had lost the confidence of its people would be to choose new people.[34]

According to Camus, the "Great Replacement" has been nourished by "industrialisation", "despiritualisation" and "deculturation";[e][35][36] the materialistic society and globalism having created a "replaceable human, without any national, ethnic, or cultural specificity",[37] what he labels "global replacism".[38] Camus claims that "the great replacement does not need a definition," as the term is not, in his views, a "concept" but rather a "phenomenon".[39][18]

In Camus's theory, the indigenous French people ("the replaced")[f] is described as being demographically replaced by non-white populations ("the replacing [peoples]")[g]—mainly coming from Africa or the Middle East—in a process of "peopling immigration" encouraged by a "replacist power".[a][5][40]

Camus frequently uses terms and concepts related to the period of Nazi-occupied France (1940–1945). He for instance labels "colonizers" or "Occupiers"[h] people of non-European descent who reside in Europe,[22][41] and dismisses what he calls the "replacist elites" as "collaborationist".[24] In 2017 Camus founded an organization named the National Council of European Resistance, in a self-evident reference to the World War II National Council of the Resistance (1943–1945).[42] This analogy to the French Resistance against Nazism has been described as an implicit call to hatred, direct action or even violence against what Camus labels the "Occupiers; i.e. the immigrants".[24] Camus has also compared the Great Replacement and the so-called "genocide by substitution" of the European peoples to the Holocaust.[42]

Claimed influences

Camus cites two influential figures in the epilogue of his 2011 book The Great Replacement: British politician Enoch Powell's apocalyptic vision of future race relations—expressed in his 1968 "Rivers of Blood" speech—and French author Jean Raspail's depiction of the collapse of the West from an overwhelming "tidal wave" of Third World immigration, featured in his 1973 novel The Camp of the Saints.[16][43]

Camus also declared to The Spectator magazine in 2016 that a key to understanding the "Great Replacement" can be found in his 2002 book Du Sens.[44] In the latter he wrote that the words "France" and "French" equal a natural and physical reality rather than a legal one, in a cratylism similar to Charles Maurras's distinction between the "legal" and the "real country".[i][45] During the same interview, Camus mentioned that he began to imagine his conspiracy theory back in 1996, during the redaction of a guidebook on the department of Hérault, in the South of France: "I suddenly realized that in very old villages [...] the population had totally changed too [...] this is when I began to write like that."[44]

Similar themes

Despite its own singularities and concepts, the "Great Replacement" is encompassed in a larger and older "white genocide" conspiracy theory,[46] popularized in the US by neo-Nazi David Lane in his 1995 White Genocide Manifesto, where he asserted that governments in Western countries were intending to turn white people into "extinct species".[47][48] Scholars generally agree that, although he did not father the theme, Camus indeed coined the term "Great Replacement" as a slogan and concept, and eventually led it to its fame in the 2010s.[49][50]

The idea of "replacement" under the guidance of a hostile elite can be further traced back to pre-WWII antisemitic conspiracy theories which posited the existence of a Jewish plot to destroy Europe through miscegenation, especially in Édouard Drumont's antisemitic bestseller La France juive (1886).[51] Commenting on this resemblance, historian Nicolas Lebourg and political scientist Jean-Yves Camus suggest that Renaud Camus's contribution was to replace the antisemitic elements with a clash of civilizations between Muslims and Europeans.[16] Also in the late 19th century, imperialist politicians invoked the Péril jaune (Yellow Peril) in their negative comparisons of France's low birth-rate and the high birth-rates of Asian countries. From that claim arose an artificial, cultural fear that immigrant-worker Asians soon would "flood" France. This danger supposedly could be successfully countered only by increased fecundity of French women. Then, France would possess enough soldiers to thwart the eventual flood of immigrants from Asia.[52] Maurice Barrès's nationalist writings of that period have also been noted in the ideological genealogy of the "Great Replacement", Barrès contending both in 1889 and in 1900 that a replacement of the native population under the combined effect of immigration and a decline in the birth rate was happening in France.[53][51]

Scholars also highlight a modern similarity to European neo-fascist and neo-Nazi thinkers from the immediate post-war, especially Maurice Bardèche, René Binet and Gaston-Armand Amaudruz,[54][55] and to concepts advanced from the 1960s onward by the French Nouvelle Droite.[34][56] The associated and more recent conspiracy theory of "Eurabia", published by British author Bat Ye'or in her 2005 eponymous book, is often cited as a probable inspiration for Camus's "Great Replacement".[57][58][59] Eurabia theory likewise involves globalist entities, that are led by both French and Arab powers, conspiring to Islamize Europe, with Muslims submerging the continent through immigration and higher birth rates.[60] The conspiracy theory also depicts immigrants as invaders or as a fifth column, invited to the continent by a corrupt political elite.[61][62]


Demographic statistics

While the ethnic demography of France has shifted as a result of post-WWII immigration, scholars have generally dismissed the claims of a "great replacement" as being rooted in an exaggeration of immigration statistics and unscientific, racially prejudiced views.[12] Geographer Landis MacKellar criticized Camus's thesis for assuming "that third- and fourth- generation 'immigrants' are somehow not French."[63] Researchers have variously estimated the Muslim population of France at between 8.8% and 12.5% in 2017, and less than 1% in 2001,[64][65] making a "replacement" unlikely according to MacKellar.[63]

Racial connotations

In the words of scholar Andrew Fergus Wilson, whereas the islamophobic Great Replacement theory can be distinguished from the parallel antisemitic white genocide conspiracy theory, "they share the same terms of reference and both are ideologically aligned with the so-called '14 words' of David Lane ["We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children"]."[17] In 2021, the Anti-Defamation League wrote that "since many white supremacists, particularly those in the United States, blame Jews for non-white immigration to the U.S.", the Great Replacement theory has been increasingly associated with antisemitism and conflated with the white genocide conspiracy theory.[20][66] Scholar Kathleen Belew has argued that the Great Replacement theory "allows an opportunism in selecting enemies", but "also follows the central motivating logic, which is to protect the thing on the inside [i.e. the preservation and birth rate of the white race], regardless of the enemy on the outside."[67]

According to Australian historian A. Dirk Moses, the great replacement theory is a form of psychological projection in which Europeans—who enacted settler-colonial projects entailing the elimination and replacement of native populations by settler societies—fear the reverse may happen to them.[68]

In German discourse, Austrian political scientist Rainer Bauböck questioned the conspiracy theorists' use of the terms "population replacement" or "exchange" (Bevölkerungsaustausch). Using Ruth Wodak's analysis that the slogan needs to be viewed in its historical context, Bauböck has concluded that the conspiracy theory is a reemergence of the Nazi ideology of Umvolkung ("ethnicity inversion").[69]


Camus's tract for his 2014 "day of anger" demonstration against the "great replacement": "No to the change of people and of civilization, no to antisemitism"

The simplicity and use of catch-all slogans in Camus's formulations—"you have one people, and in the space of a generation you have a different people"[18]—as well as his removal of antisemitism from the original neo-Nazi "white genocide" conspiracy theory, have been cited as conducive to the popularity of the "Great Replacement" in Europe.[19][16]

In a survey led by Ifop in December 2018, 25% of the French subscribed to the conspiracy theory; as well as 46% of the responders who defined themselves as "Gilets Jaunes" (Yellow Vest protesters).[70] In another survey led by Harris Interactive in October 2021, 61% of the French believed that the "Great Replacement" will happen in France; 67% of the respondents were worried about it.[71]

The theory has also become influential in far-right and white nationalist circles outside of France.[72] The conspiracy theory has been cited by Canadian far-right political activist Lauren Southern in a YouTube video of the same name released in July 2017.[18] Southern's video had attracted in 2020 more than 686,000 views[73] and is credited with helping to popularize the conspiracy theory.[74] Counter-jihad Norwegian blogger Fjordman has also participated in spreading the theory.[75] It has also been promoted by the German edition of The Epoch Times, a far-right Falun Gong-associated newspaper.[76][77]

Prominent right-wing extremist websites such as Gates of Vienna, Politically Incorrect, and Fdesouche [fr] have provided a platform for bloggers to diffuse and popularize the theory of the "Great Replacement".[78] Among its main promoters are also a wide-ranging network of loosely connected white nationalist movements, especially the Identitarian movement in Europe,[79][80] and other groups like PEGIDA in Germany.[81]

Political influence



Much of the European spread of the Great Replacement (French: Grand Remplacement) conspiracy theory rhetoric is due to its prevalence in French national discourse and media. Nationalist right-wing groups in France have asserted that there is an ongoing "Islamo-substitution" of the indigenous French population, associating the presence of Muslims in France with potential danger and destruction of French culture and civilization.[82][9][83]

In 2011, Marine Le Pen evoked the theory, claiming that France's "adversaries" were waging a moral and economic war on the country, apparently "to deliver it to submersion by an organized replacement of our population".[84] In 2013, historian Dominique Venner's suicide in Notre-Dame de Paris, in which he left a note outlining the "crime of the replacement of our people" is reported to have inspired the far-right Iliade Institute's main ideological tenet of the Great Replacement.[85] Referring to the conspiracy theory, Marine Le Pen publicly praised Venner, claiming that his "last gesture, eminently political, was to try to awaken the French people".[84]

In 2015, Guillaume Faye gave a speech at the Swedish Army Museum in Stockholm, in which he claimed there were three societal things being used against Europeans to carry out a supposed Great Replacement: abortion, homosexuality and immigration. He asserted that Muslims were replacing white people by using birthrates as a demographic weapon.[86]

In June 2017, a BuzzFeed News investigation revealed three National Front candidates subscribing to the conspiracy theory ahead of the legislative elections.[87] These included Senator Stéphane Ravier's personal assistant, who claimed the Great Replacement had already started in France.[88] Publishing an image of blonde girl next to the caption "Say no to white genocide", Ravier's aide politically charged the concept further, writing "the National Front or the invasion".[89]

Journalist and author Éric Zemmour, who ran for President of France in the 2022 election, promoted extensively the Great Replacement concept.

By September 2018, in a meeting at Fréjus, Marine Le Pen closely echoed Great Replacement rhetoric. Speaking of France, she declared that "never in the history of mankind, have we seen a society that organizes an irreversible submersion" that would eventually cause French society to "disappear by dilution or substitution, its culture and way of life".[84] Following the Christchurch mosque shootings, Le Pen falsely denied knowledge of the theory.[90]

Former National Assembly delegate Marion Maréchal, who is a junior member of the political Le Pen family, is also a proponent of the theory.[91] In March 2019, in a trip to the U.S., Maréchal evoked the theory, stating "I don't want France to become a land of Islam".[92] Insisting that the Great Replacement was "not absurd", she declared the "indigenous French" people, apparently in danger of being a minority by 2040, now wanted their "country back".[93]

National Rally's serving president Marine Le Pen, who is the aunt of Maréchal, has been heavily influenced by the Great Replacement. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has described the conspiracy theory creator Renaud Camus as Le Pen's "whisperer".[94] In May 2019, National Rally spokesman Jordan Bardella was reported to use the conspiracy theory during a televised debate with Nathalie Loiseau, after he argued that France must "turn off the tap" from the demographic bomb of African immigration into the country.[95]

In June 2019, journalist and author Éric Zemmour pushed the concept in comparison to the Kosovo War, claiming "In 1900, there were 90% Serbs and 10% Muslims in Kosovo, in 1990 there were 90% Muslims and 10% Serbs, then there was war and the independence of Kosovo".[96] Zemmour, author of The French Suicide, has repeatedly described "the progressive replacement, over a few decades, of the historic population of our country by immigrants, the vast majority of them non-European".[97] Later that month, Marion Maréchal joined Zemmour in invoking the Great Replacement in relation to the Balkan region, stating "I do not want my France to become Kosovo" and declared that the changing demographics of France "threatens us" ("nous menace") and that this was increasingly clear.[96] Zemmour ran for president in 2022 and continued to extensively promote the theory during his campaign.[98] He finished in fourth place in the first round of the election, taking 7,07% of the vote.[99]


Identitäre Bewegung Österreich (IBÖ), the Austrian branch of the Identitarian movement, promotes this theory, citing a "great exchange"[j] or replacement of the population that supposedly needs to be reversed.[100] In April 2019, Heinz-Christian Strache campaigning for his FPÖ party ahead of the 2019 European Parliament election endorsed the conspiracy theory.[101] Claiming that "population replacement" in Austria was a real threat, he stated that "We don't want to become a minority in our own country".[102] Compatriot Martin Sellner, who also supports the theory, celebrated Strache's political use of the Great Replacement.[103][104]


In September 2018, Schild & Vrienden [nl], an extremist Flemish youth organization, were reported to be endorsing the conspiracy theory. The group, claiming that native populations of Europe were being replaced by migrants; they proposed an end to all immigration, forced deportation of non-whites, and the founding of ethnostates.[105] The following month, VRT detailed how the organization was discussing the Great Replacement on secretive chat channels, and using the conspiracy theory to promote Flemish ethnic identity.[106]

In March 2019, Flemish nationalist Dries Van Langenhove of the Vlaams Belang party repeatedly stated that the Flemish people were "being replaced" in Belgium, posting claims on social media which endorsed the Great Replacement theory.[107][108]


Use of the Great Replacement (Danish: Store Udskiftning) conspiracy theory has become common in right-wing Danish political rhetoric. In April 2019, Rasmus Paludan, leader of the Hard Line party, which is widely associated with the Great Replacement,[109] claimed that by the year 2040 ethnic Danish people would be approaching to be a minority in Denmark, having been outnumbered by Muslims and their descendants.[110] During a debate for the 2019 European Parliament elections, Paludan used the concept to justify a proposal to ban Muslim immigration and deport all Islamic residents from the country, in what Le Monde described as Paludan "preaching the 'great replacement theory'".[111]

In June 2019, Pia Kjærsgaard (Danish People's Party) invoked the conspiracy theory while serving as Speaker of the Danish Parliament. After the alleged encouragement of Muslim communities to "vote red", for the Social Democrats; Kjærsgaard asked "What will happen? A replacement of the Danish people?".[110]


Ex-SPD politician Thilo Sarrazin is reported to be one of the most influential promoters of the Great Replacement, having published several books on the subject, some of which, such as Germany Abolishes Itself, are in high circulation.[109] Sarrazin has proposed that there are too many immigrants in Germany, and that they supposedly have lower IQs than Germans. Regarding the demographics of Germany, he has claimed that in a century ethnic Germans will drop in number to 25 million, in 200 years to eight million and in 300 years: three million.[109]

In May 2016, Alternative for Germany (German: Alternative für Deutschland, AfD) deputy leader Beatrix von Storch used a language reminiscent of the theory when she claimed that plans for a mass exchange of populations ("Massenaustausch der Bevölkerung") had long been made.[112]

In April 2017, a few months before he assumed the leadership of the AfD, Alexander Gauland released a press statement regarding the issue of family reunification for refugees, in which he claimed that "Population exchange in Germany is running at full speed".[94][112] In October 2018, following Beatrix von Storch's lead, Bundestag member Petr Bystron said the Global Compact for Migration was part of the conspiracy to bring about systemic population change in Germany.[112]

In March 2019, Vice Germany reported how AfD MP Harald Laatsch [de] attempted to justify and assign blame for the Christchurch mosque shootings, in relation to his "The Great Exchange"[j] theory, by asserting that the shooter's actions were driven by "overpopulation" from immigrants and "climate protection" against them. Laatsch also claimed that the climate movement, who he labelled "climate panic propagators", had a "shared responsibility" for the massacre, and singled out child activist Greta Thunberg.[113]

Similarly, right-wing publicist Martin Lichtmesz [de] denied that either Anders Behring Breivik's 2011 manifesto, which referred to the Eurabia variant of the "white genocide" narrative, or Brenton Tarrant's 2019 The Great Replacement manifesto, had any connection to the theory. Claiming that it was, in fact, not a conspiracy theory at all, Lichtmesz said both Breivik and Tarrant were reacting to a real phenomenon; a "historically unique experiment" of a "Great Exchange"[j] of people.[113]


Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his political party Fidesz in Hungary have been associated with the conspiracy theory over the course of several years.[114][115] The Sydney Morning Herald detailed Orbán's belief in and promotion of the Great Replacement as being central to the modern right-wing politics of Europe. In December 2018, he claimed the "Christian identity of Europe" needed saving, and labelled refugees traveling to Europe as "Muslim invaders".[93] In a speech, Orbán asserted: "If in the future Europe is to be populated by people other than Europeans, and we accept this as a fact and see it as natural, then we will effectively be consenting to population replacement: to a process in which the European population is replaced".[116]

He has also stated: "In all of Europe there are fewer and fewer children, and the answer of the West is migration," concluding that "We Hungarians have a different way of thinking. Instead of just numbers, we want Hungarian children." ThinkProgress described the comments as pushing a version of the theory.[117] In April 2019, Radio New Zealand published insight that Orban's plans to cut taxes for large Hungarian families could be linked with fears of the Great Replacement.[118]


A 2019 Lidl advertisement that featured a white Irish woman, her Afro-Brazilian partner and their mixed race son was targeted by former journalist Gemma O'Doherty as part of an attempt at a "Great Replacement". After facing online harassment the family decided to leave Ireland.[119][120][121] The "Great Replacement" has also been used in Ireland in opposition to direct provision centres, used to house asylum seekers.[122]

Writing in 2020, Richard Downes said that "Rather than seeing the increase in non-Irish people living and making their lives here as being a normal part of a modern European country, some of the new nationalists see it as a conspiracy to overwhelm Ireland with foreigners. For many of them the conspirators include the Irish government, NGOs, the EU and the UN. They believe that these organisations want to replace Irish people with brown and black people from abroad."[123]

The term "great replacement" was also used when the RTÉ News featured the three first babies born in 2020, born to Polish, Black and Indian mothers; journalist Fergus Finlay saying "I don't care about the vulgar abuse, but I really do believe that these hatemongers should be prosecuted when they incite others to hatred and violence against people whose only crime is their skin colour or religion. I find it hard to understand why the State hasn't acted already against these cruel ideologues who think they can say whatever they like under the banner of free speech. They may be small in number now, and on the surface they may just seem bonkers, but we've been here before. Political movements have been built on hatred of the other, and we know the damage they have caused."[124]

Garda Commissioner (national chief of police) Drew Harris spoke about far right groups in 2020, saying that "Irish groups [believing] in the great replacement theory" had plans "to disrupt key State institutions and infrastructure. This included Dublin Port, high profile shopping areas such as Grafton Street in Dublin, Dáil Éireann and Government departments."[125][126][127]

Some participants in the 2022–2023 Irish anti-immigration protests such as Hermann Kelly and Derek Blighe support a Great Replacement theory, as well as referring to the influx of immigrants as an "invasion" and a "plantation".[128][129]


Giorgia Meloni accepting the task of forming a new government
Meloni accepting the task of forming a new government

The current Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has endorsed the Great Replacement ideology.[130] Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini of Italy (2018–2019) has repeatedly adopted the theme of the Great Replacement.[114] In May 2016, two years before his election to office, he claimed "ethnic replacement is underway" in Italy in an interview with Sky TG24. Accusing nameless, well-funded organizations for importing workers that he named "farm slaves", he stated that there was a "lucrative attempt at genocide" of Italians.[131][132]

In April 2023, the Minister of Agriculture, Food Sovereignty and Forests Francesco Lollobrigida remarked to a trade union conference that "Italians are having fewer children, so we're replacing them with someone else. [We say] yes to helping births, no to ethnic replacement. That's not the way forward".[133]


In April 2015, writing on the publishing website GeenStijl, scholar of Islam Hans Jansen used Great Replacement rhetoric, suggesting that it was an "undisputed" fact that among the European Union's governing elite there was a common consensus that Europeans were "no good and can be better replaced".[134] In May 2015, Martin Bosma, a Dutch parliament Representative for the Party for Freedom (PVV), released his book Minority in their own land [nl]. Invoking the conspiracy theory, Bosma wrote about a growing 'a new population' of immigrants which lent itself to an apparently 'post-racial Multicultural State of Salvation'.[134]

In March 2017, Thierry Baudet, leader of the right wing Forum for Democracy (FvD) party, promoted the theory after he claimed that the country's so-called elite were deliberately "homeopathically diluting" the Dutch population, in a speech about "national self-hatred". He said there was a plot to racially mix the ethnic Dutch with "all the people of the world", so that there would "never be a Dutchman again".[134]

In January 2018, PVV Representative Martin Bosma endorsed the Great Replacement theory, and one of its key propagators, after meeting with Renaud Camus at a PVV demonstration in Rotterdam and tweeting his support. Filip Dewinter, a leading member of the Flemish secessionist Vlaams Belang party, who had traveled to the Netherlands on the day of the protest to meet with Camus, named him as a "visionary man" to the media.[135]

Party for Freedom politician Geert Wilders of the Netherlands supports the notion of a Great Replacement occurring in Europe.[136][137] In October 2018, Wilders invoked the conspiracy theory, claiming the Netherlands was "being replaced with mass immigration from non-western Islamic countries" and Rotterdam being "the port of Eurabia". He claimed 77 million, mainly Islamic immigrants would attempt to enter Europe over the course of half a century, and that white Europeans would cease to exist unless they were stopped.[93] In 2019, The New York Times reported how Camus's demographic-based alarmist theories help fuel Wilders and his Party for Freedom's nativist campaigning.[2]

In September 2018, Dutch author Paul Scheffer analyzed the Great Replacement and its political developments, suggesting that Forum for Democracy and Party for Freedom were forming policy regarding the demography of the Netherlands through the lens of the conspiracy theory.[138]


The far-right party Vox has been described as circulating the theory for its discourse about low natality rates in Spaniards compared to migrants.[139] According to journalist Antonio Maestre of El Diario, such an ideology is shared between Vox and some extreme strains of Catalan nationalism who fear replacement by Spanish-speakers.[140]

United Kingdom

According to November 2018 research from the University of Cambridge, 31% of Brexit voters believe in the conspiracy theory compared to 6% of British people who oppose Brexit.[141]

In July 2019, left-wing English musician and activist Billy Bragg released a public statement which accused fellow singer-songwriter Morrissey of endorsing the theory. Bragg suggested "that Morrissey is helping to spread this idea—which inspired the Christchurch mosque murderer—is beyond doubt".[142][143]

Prior to the 2024 United Kingdom general election, videos of non-white people in London with captions such as "This is not Iran" spread on social media. Hope not Hate researcher Patrik Hermansson described the videos as prime examples of dog whistles due to using language and imagery that direct viewers to the conspiracy theory without explicitly referencing it. He said, "[The videos] are dangerous because they often avoid moderation and appear acceptable by seeming neutral in how they present reality".[144]


Leader of the Victory Party Ümit Özdağ uses a Turkish version of the theory. He previously argued that Turkey will be a "Migrantland" (Göçmenistan) unless Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu wins the 2023 Turkish presidential election.[145]

North America


YouTuber Lauren Southern of Canada has helped amplify the conspiracy theory.[93][146] In 2017, Southern dedicated a video to the Great Replacement, gaining over half a million views on her channel, before it was deleted.[18][147][148] 2018 mayoral candidate for Toronto Faith Goldy has publicly embraced the replacement theory.[149][150] In 2019, in the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, Vice accused Goldy of routinely pushing the same ideas of birthrate declines and the population replacement of whites, found in the gunman's The Great Replacement manifesto.[151] When white nationalist Paul Fromm co-opted the pre-1967 Canadian national flag, the Canadian Red Ensign, he referred to it as "the flag of the true Canada, the European Canada before the treasonous European replacement schemes brought in by the 1965 immigration policies".[152]

In June 2019, columnist Lindsay Shepherd claimed that "whites are becoming a minority" in the West, describing her assertion as "population replacement".[153] She was criticized by Canadian MP Colin Fraser at a House of Commons justice committee for not denouncing the concept,[154] while Nathaniel Erskine-Smith accused Shepherd of openly embracing the conspiracy theory.[155]

The political commentator Mathieu Bock-Côté is known to frequently amplify the Great Replacement theory (French: Grand Remplacement) into mainstream media with his political ideologies.[156][157][158][159]

United States

The Great replacement in the United States is the American version of a white nationalist far-right conspiracy theory that racial minorities are displacing the traditional white American population and taking control of the nation. Versions of the theory "have become commonplace" in the Republican Party of the United States, and have become a major issue of political debate. It also has stimulated violent responses including mass murders.[160] It resembles the Great Replacement theory promoted in Europe,[161] but has its origins in American nativism around 1900. According to Erika Lee, in 1894 the old stock Yankee upper-class founders of the Immigration Restriction League were, "convinced that Anglo-Saxon traditions, peoples, and culture were being drowned in a flood of racially inferior foreigners from Southern and Eastern Europe."[162]



The media in Australia have covered former Senator Fraser Anning of Queensland and his endorsement of the Great Replacement conspiracy theory.[163] In April 2019, Reuters reported how Anning was amplifying replacement theory by suggesting that Muslims would "out-breed us very quickly".[164] In May 2019, Anning alleged that white Australians would "fast become a minority" if they did not defend their "ethno-cultural identity".[165]

New Zealand

The far right neo-Nazi youth group Action Zealandia has endorsed the Great Replacement theory, alleging that European identity in New Zealand is being threatened by economically driven non-white migration.[166] In addition, the group has promoted the pseudohistorical notion that white people settled in New Zealand before the arrival of the indigenous Māori people.[167] According to the journalist Marc Daalder, Action Zealandia is the successor to the Dominion Movement, a far right group that ceased its activities following the 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings.[168]



Hindu nationalists in India have stoked fears of demographic erasure of Hindus by Muslims, alleging that Muslims have higher fertility rates compared to other Indian communities and forced religious conversions are reducing the number of Hindus. In 2022, Hindu nationalist Yati Narsinghanand was arrested on hate speech charges and spoke about the risk of a Muslim prime minister in 2029, which he said would lead to killings and forced conversions of Hindus. Members of India's parliament and Indian television channels have also mainstreamed the claim of a demographic threat to Hindus. India's former chief election commissioner, S.Y. Quraishi, said that fearmongering over the threat to a Hindu majority has increased since 2014.[169]


Hard right conservatives in Malaysia have expressed fears that local Indian communities, often of Tamil descent, may oust Malay Muslims, who are the current majority in Malaysia. These fears were heightened due to the Sri Lankan Civil War, backlash against activities of the Hindu Rights Action Force, and Hindu nationalism in India. Political actors have exploited this to acquire votes in Malaysia's heartland and to rally opposition against ratifying the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.[170]



In February 2023, the President of Tunisia Kais Saied made comments about African immigration into Tunisia, saying that they were changing the demographic makeup of the country in order to make it a "purely African" nation.[171][172][173][174][175] This was widely interpreted as a Tunisian (or Arabic) version of the great replacement conspiracy theory allegedly in an attempt to distract voters from the policy failures of his government.[176][177]

Influence on white nationalist terrorism

Implicit call to violence

Camus's use of strong terms like "colonization" and "Occupiers"[h] to label non-European immigrants and their children[22][41] have been described as implicit calls to violence.[24] Scholars like Jean-Yves Camus have argued that the "Great Replacement" conspiracy theory closely parallels the concept of "remigration", an euphemistic term for the forced deportation of non-white immigrants.[19][32] "We shall not leave Europe, we shall make Africa leave Europe," Camus wrote in 2019 to define his political agenda for the European parliament elections.[41] He has also used another euphemism, the "Great Repatriation", to refer to remigration.[k][178]

According to historians Nicolas Bancel and Pascal Blanchard, along with sociologist Ahmed Boubeker, "the announcement of a civil war is implicit in the theory of the 'great replacement' [...] This thesis is extreme—and so simplistic that it can be understood by anyone—because it validates a racial definition of the nation."[19] Sceptical of Camus's description of second or third generation immigrants as being itself a contradiction in terms—"they do not migrate anymore, they are French"—demographer Hervé Le Bras is also critical of their designation as a fifth column in France or an "internal enemy".[179]

Inspired attacks

Fears of the white race's extinction, and replacement theory in particular, have been cited by several accused perpetrators of mass shootings between 2018, 2019 and 2022. While Camus has stated his own philosophy is a nonviolent one, analysts including Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center say the idea of white genocide has "undoubtedly influenced" American white supremacists, potentially leading to violence.[180][181]

In October 2018, a gunman killed 11 people and injured 6 in an attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The gunman believed Jews were deliberately importing non-white immigrants into the United States as part of a conspiracy against the white race.[182][183]

Brenton Harrison Tarrant, the Australian terrorist responsible for the mass shootings at Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand, on 15 March 2019, that killed 51 people and injured 49, named his manifesto The Great Replacement, a reference to Camus's book.[22][184] In response, Camus condemned violence while reaffirming his desire for a "counter-revolt" against an increase in nonwhite populations.[22]

In 2019, research by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue showed over 24,000 social media mentions of the Great Replacement in the month before the Christchurch shootings, in comparison to just 3,431 mentions in April 2012. The use of the term spiked in April 2019 after the Christchurch mosque shootings.[185]

Patrick Crusius, the suspect in the 2019 El Paso shooting, posted an online manifesto titled The Inconvenient Truth alluding to the "great replacement"[180] and expressing support for "the Christchurch shooter" minutes before the attack.[186] It spoke of a "Hispanic invasion of Texas" leading to "cultural and ethnic replacement" (alluding to the Reconquista) as justifications for the shooting.[180][184][186]

The suspect accused in the 2022 Buffalo shooting listed the Great Replacement in a manifesto he had published prior to the attack.[187][188][189] The suspect described himself as a fascist, white supremacist, and antisemite.[190]

List of proponents

See also


  1. ^ a b French: pouvoir/élite remplaciste
  2. ^ Rife in Western far-right movements since the late 20th century, notably through the efforts of American neo-Nazi activist David Lane.[15]
  3. ^ In-nocence is a wordplay built on the archaic term nocence,[30] originally meaning 'harm, nuisance, malice, guilt', and from which the modern French and English "innocence" derive.[31]
  4. ^ English: The Great Replacement (introduction to global replacism)
  5. ^ The French term déculturation can be translated as 'loss', 'disappearance' or 'erasure' of one's culture or national feeling.
  6. ^ French: les remplacés
  7. ^ French: les remplaçants
  8. ^ a b French: colonisateurs/colonisation and Occupants
  9. ^ French: pays légal and pays réel
  10. ^ a b c German: (Der) Große Austausch
  11. ^ French: Grand Rapatriement



  1. ^ Bracke, Sarah; Aguilar, Luis Manuel Hernández (2020). "'They love death as we love life': The 'Muslim Question' and the biopolitics of replacement". The British Journal of Sociology. 71 (4): 680–701. doi:10.1111/1468-4446.12742. ISSN 1468-4446. PMC 7540673. PMID 32100887.
  2. ^ a b Bowles, Nellie (18 March 2019). "'Replacement Theory,' a Racist, Sexist Doctrine, Spreads in Far-Right Circles". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 17 May 2019. Retrieved 17 May 2019. Behind the idea is a racist conspiracy theory known as 'the replacement theory,' which was popularized by a right-wing French philosopher.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Replacement theory". Encyclopædia Britannica. Archived from the original on 18 May 2024. Retrieved 14 June 2022.
  4. ^ Feola, Michael (2020). "'You Will Not Replace Us': The Melancholic Nationalism of Whiteness". Political Theory. 49 (4): 528–553. doi:10.1177/0090591720972745. ISSN 0090-5917. This article addresses recent strains of white nationalism rooted within anxieties over demographic replacement (e.g., 'the Great Replacement').
  5. ^ a b c d e Taguieff (2015), PT71 Archived 28 May 2024 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Baldauf, Johannes (2017). Toxische Narrative : Monitoring rechts-alternativer Akteure (PDF) (in Dutch). Berlin: Amadeu Antonio Stiftung. p. 11. ISBN 978-3-940878-29-8. OCLC 1042949000. Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 September 2018. Retrieved 24 September 2018. ...this narrative is highly compatible with concrete conspiracy narratives about how this replacement is desired and planned, either by 'the politicians' or 'the elite,' which-ever connotes Jewishness more effectively.
  7. ^ Korte, Barbara; Wendt, Simon; Falkenhayner, Nicole (2019). Heroism as a Global Phenomenon in Contemporary Culture. Routledge. PT176. ISBN 978-0429557842. This conspiracy theory, which was first articulated by the French philosopher Renaud Camus, has gained a lot of traction in Europe since 2015.
  8. ^ a b c Fourquet (2016), PT29 Archived 11 July 2024 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ a b Froio, Caterina (21 August 2018). "Race, Religion, or Culture? Framing Islam between Racism and Neo-Racism in the Online Network of the French Far Right". Perspectives on Politics. 16 (3): 696–709. doi:10.1017/S1537592718001573. S2CID 149865406. ...the conspiracy theory of the Grand remplacement (Great replacement) positing the 'Islamo-substitution' of biologically autochthonous populations in the French metropolitan territory, by Muslim minorities mostly coming from sub-Saharan Africa and the Maghreb
  10. ^ a b c Bergmann (2021), pp. 37–38: "The term 'The Great Replacement' rose to new prominence when a deeply controversial French philosopher, Renaud Camus, used it for the title of his book published in 2011. Camus mainly focused on France, but he argued that European civilisation and identity was at risk of being subsumed by mass migration, especially from Muslim countries, and because of low birth rates among the native French people. (...) It found support widely in Europe and was, for instance, entangled in the more general White Genocide conspiracy theory, which nationalist far-right activists have upheld on both sides of the Atlantic.
  11. ^ Richard Alba, The Great Demographic Illusion: Majority, Minority, and the Expanding American Mainstream (Princeton UP, 2020) https://doi.org/10.1515/9780691202112 Archived 11 July 2024 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ a b Jenkins, Cecil (2017). A Brief History of France. Little, Brown Book Group. PT342. ISBN 978-1-4721-4027-2. As for the grand replacement, this has been widely seen as a paranoid fantasy, which plays fast and loose with the statistics, is racist in that it classes as immigrants people actually born in France, glosses over the fact that around half of immigrants are from other European countries, and suggests that declining indigenous France will be outbred by Muslim newcomers when in fact it has the highest fertility rate in Western Europe, and not because of immigration.
  13. ^ Buncombe, Andrew (17 May 2022). "Inside the data that debunks the 'Great Replacement' theory". The Independent. Archived from the original on 18 January 2024. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  14. ^ Rogers, Kaleigh (26 May 2022). "The Twisted Logic Behind The Right's 'Great Replacement' Arguments". FiveThirtyEight. Archived from the original on 28 May 2022. Retrieved 27 May 2022.
  15. ^ a b Cosentino, Gabriele (2020). "From Pizzagate to the Great Replacement: The Globalization of Conspiracy Theories". Social Media and the Post-Truth World Order. Springer. p. 75. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-43005-4_3. ISBN 978-3-030-43005-4. S2CID 216239634. While the Great Replacement is at its core an Islamophobic belief, Lane's ideology is anti-Semitic.
  16. ^ a b c d e Camus & Lebourg (2017), pp. 206–207: "The success of that umpteenth incarnation of a theme launched immediately after World War II (Camus has personally declared his indebtedness to Enoch Powell) can be explained by the fact that he subtracted anti-Semitism from the argument."
  17. ^ a b Wilson, Andrew (2019). "Fear-Filled Apocalypses: The Far-Right's Use of Conspiracy Theories". Oxford Research Group. Archived from the original on 4 April 2019. Where the great replacement is an identifiably Islamaphobic screed, Lane's written works reveal an underlying fear-fantasy of a Jewish conspiracy that seeks the eradication of Lane's chosen people.
  18. ^ a b c d e Chatterton Williams (2017).
  19. ^ a b c d e Boubeker, Bancel & Blanchard (2015), pp. 141–152.
  20. ^ a b "'The Great Replacement:' An Explainer". Anti-Defamation League. Archived from the original on 21 May 2022. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  21. ^ Ekman, Mattias (6 May 2022). "The great replacement: Strategic mainstreaming of far-right conspiracy claims". Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies. 28 (4): 1127–1143. doi:10.1177/13548565221091983. ISSN 1354-8565. S2CID 248603387.
  22. ^ a b c d e Heim, Joe; McAuley, James (15 March 2019). "New Zealand attacks offer the latest evidence of a web of supremacist extremism". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 18 March 2019. Retrieved 16 March 2019. Camus, now 72, told The Washington Post that he condemns the Christchurch attacks and has always condemned similar violence. [...] Camus added that he still hopes that the desire for a 'counterrevolt' against 'colonization in Europe today' will grow, a reference to increases in nonwhite populations.
  23. ^ Byman, Daniel (16 May 2022). "The Global Roots of the Buffalo Shooting". Foreign Policy. Archived from the original on 19 May 2022. Retrieved 24 May 2022. In fact, although white supremacists in the United States and elsewhere have long claimed the white race is under attack, the Great Replacement theory itself originated in France with philosopher Renaud Camus (though Camus himself rejects violence).
  24. ^ a b c d Finkielkraut (2017), 23m05s.
  25. ^ Croucher, Stephen M. (2013). "Integrated Threat Theory and Acceptance of Immigrant Assimilation: An Analysis of Muslim Immigration in Western Europe". Communication Monographs. 80 (1): 46–62. doi:10.1080/03637751.2012.739704. ISSN 0363-7751. S2CID 145389928. Such political rhetoric has been effective in the past decade, as more and more individuals in the US and Europe are less accepting of Muslims, particularly Muslim immigrants (Abbas, 2007; Croucher, 2008; Gonzalez et al., 2008).
  26. ^ "EU Terrorism Situation & Trend Report (Te-Sat)". Europol. Archived from the original on 17 July 2019. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  27. ^ "EU migration: Crisis in seven charts". BBC. 4 March 2016. Archived from the original on 31 January 2016. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  28. ^ Bergmann (2018), pp. 126–27.
  29. ^ Polakow-Suransky (2017), pp. 2–3.
  30. ^ Kennelly, Brian Gordon (2004). "Au-delà de leurs doléances, Au nom de l'In-nocence: Renaud Camus and the Political Archived 26 May 2022 at the Wayback Machine", California Polytechnic State University.
  31. ^ "D. Godefroy". Archived from the original on 4 November 2021. Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  32. ^ a b Camus, Jean-Yves; Mathieu, Annie (19 August 2017). "D'où vient l'expression 'remigration'?". Le Soleil. Archived from the original on 24 May 2019.
  33. ^ Finkielkraut (2017), 4m25s.
  34. ^ a b Leconte, Cécile (2019). "La carrière militante du ' grand remplacement ' au sein du milieu partisan de l'Alternative pour l'Allemagne (AfD)". Politix. 126 (2): 111–134. doi:10.3917/pox.126.0111. S2CID 210566278.
  35. ^ Camus, Renaud (2013). Vue d'oeil: Journal 2012 (in French). Fayard. PT21. ISBN 978-2213672892.
  36. ^ Traverso, Enzo (2019). The New Faces of Fascism: Populism and the Far Right. Verso Books. p. 71. ISBN 978-1788730495.
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  38. ^ Bromley, Roger (2018). "The politics of displacement: the Far Right narrative of Europe and its 'others'". From the European South. University of Nottingham. 3: 15. Archived from the original on 10 October 2020. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  39. ^ Albertini, Dominique (13 October 2015). "Le 'grand remplacement', totem extrême". Libération (in French). Archived from the original on 1 July 2019. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  40. ^ "Le 'Grand Remplacement', cauchemar de l'extrême droite". Le Temps. 9 July 2020. ISSN 1423-3967. Archived from the original on 21 September 2023. Retrieved 30 May 2022. L'écrivain distingue alors les remplacés (la civilisation européenne et sa culture), les remplaçants (les immigrés venus majoritairement d'Afrique du Nord et d'Afrique subsaharienne) et les remplacistes (le pouvoir qui ne cherche pas à inverser les flux migratoires afin de servir des intérêts politiques, de gauche notamment).
  41. ^ a b c "Européennes: l'écrivain Renaud Camus en tête de liste". Le Figaro. 4 April 2019. Archived from the original on 20 September 2019. Retrieved 4 August 2019. 'L'Europe, il ne faut pas en sortir, il faut en sortir l'Afrique' [...] 'Jamais une occupation n'a pris fin sans le départ de l'occupant. Jamais une colonisation ne s'est achevée sans le retrait des colonisateurs et des colons. La Ligne claire, et seule à l'être, c'est celle qui mène du ferme constat du grand remplacement (...) à l'exigence de la remigration', ajoutent-ils.
  42. ^ a b Sapiro, Gisèle (2018). Les écrivains et la politique en France – De l'affaire Dreyfus à la guerre d'Algérie (in French). Le Seuil. PT377. ISBN 978-2-02-140215-5.
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  44. ^ a b Sexton, David (3 November 2016). "Non!". The Spectator. Archived from the original on 21 August 2018. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
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  47. ^ Berger, J. M. "How 'The Turner Diaries' Changed White Nationalism". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on 6 August 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2017. The manifesto itself was soon reduced to the simple phrase 'white genocide', which proliferated at the start of the 21st century and has become the overwhelmingly dominant meme of modern white nationalism.
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  49. ^ Soullier, Lucie; Lebourg, Nicolas (15 March 2019). "Attentat en Nouvelle-Zélande : L'auteur de l'attaque se reconnaît comme fasciste". Le Monde (in French). Archived from the original on 6 August 2019. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
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  51. ^ a b Weil & Truong (2015).
  52. ^ Margaret Cook Anderson, Regeneration Through Empire: French Pronatalists and Colonial Settlement in the Third Republic (University of Nebraska Press, 2014) p. 25.
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Further reading