This chapter analyses the concept of identity developed by Amartya Sen in recent work, especially in the book Identity and Violence. It discusses the relationship between identity and solidarity, arguing that, the former is necessary but by no means sufficient for the latter, so that, contra what Sen sometimes suggests, identities are not simply forms of solidarity. It then argues that Sen's account is both morally and methodologically individualist which seems right and that it is also correct in seeing identities as, in a certain sense, normative. But it then shows that his account is also rationalist, in treating identity as grounding reasons for thinking and acting, and that this leaves out the important role of non-rational factors in the social and political mobilization of identity. This means that some of Sen's policy proposals, while helpful, will not deal with some serious cases where identity leads to political violence.
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