Identity is often regarded as something that is possessed by individuals, states, and other agents. In this edited collection, identity is explored across a range of approaches and under-explored case studies with a view to making visible its fractured, contingent, and dynamic features. The book brings together themes of belonging and exclusion, identity formation and fragmentation. It also examines how identity functions in discourse, and the effects it produces, both materially and in ideational terms. Taking in case studies from Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, the various chapters interrogate identity through formal governing mechanisms, popular culture and place. These studies demonstrate the complex and fluid nature of identity and identity practices, as well as implications for theorising identity.
This chapter explores the ways in which identity claims and identity fragmentation have played a significant role in reshaping the global political agenda. The disruptions to the post-Cold War international order and increased insecurity and political unrest have also impacted the way we debate and conceptualise identity. Globalisation and critiques of ‘identity politics’, however, have important effects for understanding the ‘politics of identity’ and the ways in which ideas about identity constitute not only subjects but states and organisations. This chapter examines some of the contours of these debates with a view to refocussing attention on the politics of identity, specifically regarding how identity works, and the effects (and affects) it produces.