Defending Identity: Its Indispensable Role in Protecting Democracy

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PublicAffairs, Jun 3, 2008 - Political Science - 304 pages
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Who is better prepared to confront challenges and defend principles in a volatile modern world? Those with strong national, religious, ethnic, or tribal identities who accept democracy, or democrats who renounce identity as a kind of divisive prejudice? Natan Sharansky, building on his personal experience as a dissident, argues that valueless cosmopolitanism, even in democracies, is dangerous. Better to have hostile identities framed by democracy than democrats indifferent to identity.

In a vigorous insightful challenge to the left and right alike, Natan Sharansky, as he has proved repeatedly, is at the leading edge of the issues that frame our time.

 

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Contents

1 Democracy and Identity 1
1
2 Discovering Identity 17
17
3 The Assault on Identity 43
43
4 PostIdentity and the Collapse of Human Rights 80
80
5 Identity in the Public Space 102
102
At the Crossroads ofIdentity and Democracy 142
142
7 Defending the NationState 168
168
8 Peace or War 201
201
Building a New Alliance 221
221
Notes 233
233
Additional Background Readings 247
247
Acknowledgments 255
255
Index 257
257
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About the author (2008)

Natan Sharansky, former Soviet dissident, political prisoner, and human rights icon, has spent his life championing democracy and freedom. He is the author of Fear No Evil and The Case for Democracy. Sharansky has served as a senior minister in the Israeli government and now heads The Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies.

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