Denmark, Aarhus

Identity Politics

when 16 July 2014 - 13 August 2014
duration 4 weeks
credits 9.9 EC

Almost every current Western democracy can be characterized by cultural, religious, and ethnic diversity. These "circumstances of multiculturalism" has given rise to a number of identity and recognition political conflicts. Citizens, politicians and commentators fiercely debate the interpretation of fundamental freedoms and what justice requires under these circumstances. For instance: What are the limits of freedom of expression, and is it relevant that religious feelings are involved? Should Muslim headscarves be banned in public institutions, or would that amount to illegitimate discrimination? Which demands may we reasonably ask immigrants to fulfill in order to integrate into our societies? And is a common, culturally homogenous nation a prerequisite for a well-functioning democracy, or is it sufficient that people identify with the political values on which the state is based. In addition, on a more theoretical level, the circumstances of multiculturalism has given rise to an extensive critique of the understanding and interpretation of the basic normative principles of liberal democracies such equality, freedom and tolerance. A number of theorists allege that these principles are deeply inadequate to handle the pluralistic reality in which we find ourselves.

Course leader

Rasmus Sommer Hansen, Aarhus University

Target group

Master's students

Course aim

The objectives for this module are: 1) To account for and analyze the arguments and rationales pertaining to identity politics and the politics of recognition 2) To apply political theories of identity and recognition to a range of current policy issues 3) To critically assess the arguments and reasons pertaining to the identity politics and the politics of recognition

Fee info

EUR 0: Students on a bilateral exchange programme do not have to pay. Freemovers are obliged to pay participation fees while tuition fees only apply to freemovers from countries outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland.