The course surveys (a selection of) the literatures on identity across types and political outcomes. These literatures, on ethnicity, religion and gender have, by and large, evolved in isolation from each other.1 Furthermore, within each literature scholars have mostly studied separately the role of identity in shaping non-violent and violent political outcomes. The course starts by pondering the conceptualization, measurement and analytical role of ethnicity, religion and gender across identity types, with special emphasis on variance within identity across time and space. Next we turn our attention to examining the theoretical similarities and differences in the analytical role of each identity type in rela- tion to select substantive political outcomes, both non-violent and violent. In this part of the course we pay special attention to the intersection of identity types and ask whether understanding intersecting identity vectors helps cast light on the political phenomena we are focusing on. Starting with the classics and working our way forward to current examples of the literature, we read studies ranging in methods from individual survey experiments to group level analysis, to cross national analyses relying on identity indexes. Finally, pushing up against the intellectual edge of the field we ask if, and then how, the study of identities can be better integrated to inform scholarly thinking about the inter-secting role of identities in politics.

Credits: 3
Grading Method: Regular

Course Offerings

Spring 2022Instructor: Jóhanna BirnirView: Syllabus
Fall 2019Instructor: Jóhanna BirnirView: Syllabus