Fall 2007

Political Identities

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-01


Amrita Basu (Section 01)
Doreen Lee (Section 01)


The assertion of group identities based on language, region, religion, race, gender, sexuality, and class, among others, has increasingly animated politics cross-nationally. However, the extent to which identities become politicized varies enormously across time and place. We will explore what it means to describe an identity as political. This exercise entails assessing the conditions under which states, civil societies, and political societies recognize certain identities while ignoring or repressing others. In other words, it entails analyzing the ways in which political processes make and remake identities. What do groups gain and lose from identity-based movements? And what are the broader implications of identity-based movements for democratic politics? Limited to 30 students. First semester. Professor Basu and Visiting Professor Lee.