The Personal is Political: Is identity politics eating itself?

It seems today that all discussions begin with a declaration of identity – “speaking as a parent, speaking as a woman, speaking as a black man” – with the aim of lending moral authority to the statement which follows.  Identity politics, though most pronounced on campus and in activist circles in which groups mount competing claims of victimhood based on their racial, gender, sexual, religious and cultural identities, is today thoroughly mainstream with applications for employment and state grants demanding information on these categories.

This fascinating debate explores the hollowing-out of political life which occurs when the primary aim of political activism is no longer to bring about social change, but to enforce the right to have one’s self-declared identity respected.

Battle of Ideas session details