Building on some of the themes outlined in her official response on behalf of the Democratic Party to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in February, Stacey Abrams makes the case that identity politics are crucial to the health of any democracy.

Prominent commentators, such as Francis Fukuyama and Mark Lilla, have called for an end to an era of ‘identity liberalism’, claiming that an over-concentration on these issues focuses minds on human differences rather than human commonalities.

Abrams, by contrast, argues it is disingenuous and overly reductive to ignore or attempt to obfuscate the complex links between notions of race, gender, and socio-economic position.

She asserts that giving people a voice, in part through the identities that dominant groups have historically used to oppress them, allows previously silenced, marginalized groups to make their voices heard in political debate.

Focusing particularly on US politics, Abrams endorses the pursuit of an expanded, identity-conscious politics, where new, vibrant, noisy voices represent the strongest tool to manage the growing pains of multicultural coexistence.

Participants

Stacey Abrams, Minority Leader of the Georgia House of Representatives (2011-17); Democratic Party Nominee, Georgia Gubernatorial Election (2018); Founder and Chair, Fair Fight Action
Chair: Dr Leslie Vinjamuri, Head, US & Americas Programme and Dean of the Queen Elizabeth II Academy, Chatham House