SG – Mobilising Shifting Identities

How stable are political identity movements? And what happens when identities merge, become fluid or fragmented in different contexts?

Organised by Studium Generale

Tue 2 March 2021 20:00

Venue Online

Mobilising Shifting Identities

What has comparative political science research revealed about how political mobilization around identities takes shape and changes? How stable are political identity movements? Focusing on gender, class, religious/ethnic and ideological identities, we discuss what meaning such - multiple - identities have in different social, economic, political and media contexts. André Krouwel (VU) will explore how the personal becomes public and subsequently politically relevant. He will discuss the basic prerequisites in political mobilization and what makes identity movements successful. Discover the grey areas around common political purpose in collective mobilizations around identity. This evening will provide you with insights into the fluidity and fragmentation of identities in various political contexts and food for thought on what this means for the political sphere and democracy. 

About André Krouwel

Andre Krouwel lectures political science and communication studies at the VU University Amsterdam and is founder of Kieskompas. Millions of voters use such vote advice applications to determine which political party is closest to their own political preferences. This provides profound insights for scientific research. He is fascinated by the changing character and role of political parties and has in part, researched the inner workings of how identity plays a role in how individuals align themselves politically. He is an expert on how this translates into formal political constellations in European democracies and the rise (and fall) of populists and new radical political 'entrepreneurs'. In his work, Krouwel analyses the polarisation between representatives of traditional politics - Christian and Social Democrats - and anti-system politicians who influence party democracy and government formation. He is fascinated by the impact of widespread feelings of economic insecurity among the middle classes around the world, the so-called 'crushed middle', the decay of old (class and religious) identities and the increasing relevance of education for political behaviour are recurring topics in his research.

About lecture series Identity Politics

Moving beyond psychological perspectives, we now look at identities in collective public political experience. While the term ‘‘Identity Politics’’ may be unfamiliar to some, groups and movements defined by a common sense of identity may not be. Race, gender, LGTBQ, class, religion, social backgrounds, age or for that matter any other commonly shared experience taking on an identity have been at the centre of struggles by those challenging power, speaking out against oppression and/or seeking inclusion. But what do we really know about the politicization of identity and the contending perspectives on it as an inclusive emancipatory approach to change? Markha Valenta (UU), Ewald Engelen (UvA) and André Krouwel (VU) look at identity politics through the lenses of cultural anthropology and history, as well as economic geography and political science.