An introduction to the special issue on identity politics

Ashok Kumar, Adam Elliott-Cooper, Shruti Iyer, Dalia Gebrial

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This special issue responds to ongoing debates around what has been termed 'identity politics'. We aim to intervene in what are make-or-break questions for the Left today. Specifically, we wish to provoke further interrogative but comradely conversation that works towards breaking-down the wedge between vulgar economism and vulgar culturalism. Critically, we maintain that just as all identity categories are spatially and temporally contingent-socially constructed, yet naturalised-so too is this current bifurcation between 'class politics' and 'identity politics'. Ultimately, we call for an intellectual and organisational embracing of the complexity of identity as it figures in contemporary conditions; being a core organising-principle of capitalism as it functions today, a paradigm that Leftist struggle can be organised through and around- A nd yet all with a recognition of the necessity of historicising, and ultimately abolishing, these categories along with capitalism itself.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-20
Number of pages18
JournalHistorical Materialism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • class
  • culturalism
  • economism
  • gender
  • identitarian
  • identity politics
  • internationalism
  • race


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