Identity politics is nothing new

A conversation with Francis Fukuyama, professor, writer and public intellectual. Interviewer: Maciej Makulski

MACIEJ MAKULSKI: I would like to focus our conversation on your new book Identity Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment and to give our readers a proper context of what your new book is about. Why, in your opinion, is the concept of identity so central now? In your book you provide a very interesting history of how the concept of identity has evolved over the centuries, which means, for me, that identity has been present within the public debate for a long time. Why, then, it is so relevant for politics in the 21st century?

FRANCIS FUKUYAMA: I think that the politics of the present has shifted from 20th century politics. In the 20th century the big political divisions were really over economic ideology. It was divided by a left that was social democratic, and in some cases Marxist, that wanted greater economic equality, more redistribution and more social protections; and a right that was more oriented towards the free market and towards individual freedoms.

November 13, 2019 - Francis Fukuyama Maciej Makulski