“Pandora’s Box of Identity Politics” | Webster University Thailand

Webster University Thailand’s Kenneth Houston explores the “Pandora’s Box of Identity Politics”

The year 2016 has proven to be an eventful year in world politics. From the United Kingdom’s exit from the Eurozone in June, to Donald Trump winning the US Election in November, the world saw changes that could not have been predicted just twelve months prior.

In a bid to explain the reasons behind these unexpected events, Webster University Thailand’s Professor Kenneth Houston recently penned an article in the World Politics Journal (WPJ). Titled ‘The Pandora’s Box of Identity Politics: The Left’s obsession with identity politics has brought us Trumpism’, Professor Houston’s article explains his theory as to why public discourse has shifted so significantly.

In short, Houston opines that the populations of the United Kingdom and the United States of America have gravitated to the ‘right’ in a response to a feeling that the ‘left’ offered no viable alternative. In addition, he also articulates the entrance of identity politics into the global political consciousness, unfortunately resulting in an ‘us’ VS ‘them’ mentality across large swathes of the voting populous.

Furthermore, Professor Houston analyzed the rise of cultural distinctions as barriers to the “construction of a common citizenship”. With governments historically providing concessions to distinct groups, the resultant gaps and distinctions have become ever more apparent. This has created fractures and disenfranchisement amongst various groups.

Professor Houston’s article can be read in its entirety here. Kenneth Houston is the Department Head at Webster University Thailand’s College of Arts & Sciences.