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Welfare, Ethnicity, and Altruism applies the controversial theory of 'Ethnic Nepotism', first formulated by Irenaus Eibl-Eibesfeldt and Pierre van den Berghe, to the modern welfare state (both are authors in this volume). This theory states that ethnic groups resemble large families whose members are prone to cooperate due to 'kin altruism'. Recent empirical findings in economics and political science offer confirmatory evidence. The book presents two separate studies that compare welfare expenditures around the world, both indicating that the more ethnically mixed a population becomes, the greater is its resistance to redistributive policies. These results point to profound inconsistencies within ideologies of both left and right regarding ethnicity.
From an evolutionary perspective, individuals have a vi- tal interest in the reproduction of their genes. Yet this interest is overlooked by social and political theory at a time when we need to steer an adaptive course through the unnatural modern world of uneven population growth and decline, global mobility, and loss of family and communal ties. In modern Darwinian theory, bearing children is only one way to reproduce. Since we share genes with our families, ethnic groups, and the species as a whole, ethnocentrism and humanism can be adaptive. They can also be hazardous when taken to extremes. On Genetic Interests canvasses strategies and ethics for conserving our genetic interests in an environmentally sustainable manner sensitive to the interests of others.