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The Political Configuration of Identities

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Ruth Rushworth.

Denis-Constant Martin (Sciences Po Bordeaux, University of Bordeaux) will give the second lecture in a series sponsored by the French Embassy at the University of Cambridge.

What is commonly called “identity” has become a central theme in political debates that take place in many societies around the world. The findings of academic studies conducted in various countries converge in showing that “identities” are always the result of processes of social construction which generate narratives combining arguments related to memory, space and culture in order to give “identities” an affective dimension capable of uniting citizens beyond their differences. However, “identity” considered as a social construct is eminently fluid and plural. It therefore needs to be configured to become an efficient tool of political mobilization. This talk will focus on the political processes of identity configuration, taking into account the dialectics of imposition and self-definition, and examine the strategies of “identity” entrepreneurs and the effectiveness of their endeavours.

This talk is part of the CRASSH series.

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