chapter  11
204 Pages

Identity politics

Nationalism, religion, and ethnicity
WithRichard W. Mansbach, Kirsten L. Taylor

Individuals who share identities have a collective identity. National, religious, and ethnic identities still erode the capacity of many states, threatening their autonomy and their ability to satisfy citizens and thereby retain legitimacy. Potentially conflicting identities and loyalties is a growing problem for Europe. Nationalism is sometimes partly built on common religion, and religion remains an important identity in global politics. Global politics is witnessing a revival of old ethnic and religious identities as well as the invention of powerful new identities based on race, religion, and gender. The ambiguous position of Muslims in Europe highlights the fact that multiple identities may produce divided loyalties. Although people have always had multiple identities, in recent centuries, most viewed citizenship as their principal political identity, and reserved their highest loyalties for their nation-state. The accelerating pace of technological change complicates states' ability to control the flow of information and ideas to citizens.