Foto: Matthias Friel
What motivates people to fight and die? What constitutes power in society? Why and under what conditions do different groups resort to violence against each other?
This course invites a reflection on these fundamental questions by considering multidisciplinary debates on social identities.
It familiarizes students with different theoretical discussions on the origins and sources of identities (self, group, society, State, and combinations), their reproduction, maintenance, and challengers; as well as the different understandings of what constitutes power (material, institutional and symbolic/ideational) and its consequences (coercion and/or consensus).
Alongside the theoretical discussions, current empirical cases will be used to critically assess and debate the significance of social identities in interest formation and power struggles leading to conflict.
This course’s objective is to expose students to a heterogeneous discussion of identity, so they can challenge deterministic and essentialist views, and establish its intersection with power relations and war in our times. While it does not privilege an in-depth approach to a single topic, it serves as an entry point, providing crucial building blocks to account not only for the causes of conflict, but also the pillars for peace – in our globalized, interconnected, yet highly fragmented, world.
Alderdice, L. J. (2007). The Individual, the Group, and the Psychology of Terrorism. International Review of Psychiatry, 19(3), 201-20.
Berger, P., & Luckmann, T. (1967). The Social Construction of Reality, a Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. New York: Anchor Books.
Elshtain, J. (1992). Sovereignty, Identity and Sacrifice. In V. S. Peterson, Gendered States (pp. 141-54). Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.
Fiske, S. T., Gilbert, D., & Lindzey, G. (2010). The Handbook of Social Psychology. (5. ed., Ed.) Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons Inc.
Giddens, A. (1991). Modernity and Self-Identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.
Gregg, H. S. (2020). Identity Wars: Collective Identity Building in Insurgency and Counterinsurgency. Small Wars and Insurgencies, 31(2), 381-401.
Hopf, T. (2002). Social Construction of International Politics: Identities and Foreign Policies, Moscow, 1955 and 1999.Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.
Huntington, S. P. (1997). The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. London: Simon & Schuster.
Khong, Y. (2019). Power as Prestige in World Politics. International Affairs, 95(1), 119-142.
Kaldor, M. (2013). Identity and War. Global Policy, 4(4), 336-346.
Active participation and oral presentation.
© Copyright HISHochschul-Informations-System eG