Fall/Winter Timetable

POL2321H1F L0101

Undergraduate Course Code: POL438H1F L0101

Topics in Comparative Politics I

Politics of Identity


This course takes a broad view of what count as "identities," and explores their relevance for politics in different parts of the world, including India, South Africa, the United States, Mexico, Brazil, and Canada. It explicitly engages in a comparison of the politics of race, class, gender, religion, language, and ethnicity, all of which are commonly employed as political identities for the purpose of situating, and legitimating, political claims. In this course we will examine two questions. First, where do race, ethnicity, gender, etc. come from? How and when do they develop political salience? Second, what are their implications, both for political contestation and for the proper functioning of democratic government? Are democratic institutions really better equipped to handle class than they are to deal with religion and ethnicity? What are the differences among these forms of identity, for politics?