Against Identity Politics

The New Tribalism and the Crisis of Democracy

SHAY HORSE/NUR PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

Beginning a few decades ago, world politics started to experience a dramatic transformation. From the early 1970s to the first decade of this century, the number of electoral democracies increased from about 35 to more than 110. Over the same period, the world’s output of goods and services quadrupled, and growth extended to virtually every region of the world. The proportion of people living in extreme poverty plummeted, dropping from 42 percent of the global population in 1993 to 18 percent in 2008. But not everyone benefited from these changes. In many countries, and particularly in developed democracies, economic inequality increased dramatically, as the benefits of …