Identity Politics and the Welfare State

Social Philosophy and Policy 14 (2):231 (1997)
Motivated by a deep sense that injustice and inequality are wrong, liberals and reformers in the Western political tradition have focused their energies on policies and programs which seek inclusion: extending the suffrage to those without property; seeking to treat women the same as men, and blacks the same as whites; trying to ensure that as few as possible are excluded from economic opportunity due to lack of resources. Under current conditions, such demands for inclusion take two primary forms, especially in the United States. One is a commitment to using the state to equalize the life chances of individuals. The other is a call for treating groups which have experienced discrimination with full respect. The former leads to the welfare state, while the latter is produced by, and in turn produces, what is commonly called identity politics, the politics of recognition, or the politics of presence
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DOI 10.1017/S0265052500001898
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