King's College London

Research portal

An introduction to the special issue on identity politics

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-20
Number of pages18
JournalHistorical Materialism
Issue number2
Published1 Jan 2018

King's Authors


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.

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454