Feature Stories

Politics & Polls #61: Identity Politics & the Democratic Party

Oct 5, 2017
By:
B. Rose Kelly
Source:
Woodrow Wilson School
Tags: 
Politics

Are identity politics hurting the Democratic Party? Some argue Democrats have strayed away from core economic issues, favoring religion, race, sexuality, gender or social background (to name a few) to form their political alliance – thereby undercutting the party’s effectiveness.

Joining this episode is an author who has written extensively on the rise of identity politics: Mark Lilla, professor of humanities at Columbia University and regular contributor to the New York Review of Books. He describes how identity politics are shaping voters, politicians and the democratic process.

Lilla specializes in intellectual history. He is the author of “The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics,” published this year, as well as several other books. He is currently writing a book titled, “Ignorance and Bliss,” and another on the history of the idea of conversion.

ABOUT THE HOSTS

Zelizer is the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 
Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He has been one of the pioneers in the revival of American political history. He is the author of several books including, most recently, "The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society." Zelizer is a frequent commentator in the international and national media on political history and contemporary politics. He has published more than 600 hundred op-eds, including his weekly column on CNN.com.

Wang is professor of neuroscience and molecular biology at Princeton University. He is known for his books "Welcome to Your Brain" and "Welcome to Your Child's Brain" and for his founding role at the Princeton Election Consortium, a blog providing U.S. election analyses. In 2004, Wang was one of the first to aggregate U.S. presidential polls using probabilistic methods. He has also developed new statistical standards for partisan gerrymandering. A neuroscientist, Wang's academic research focuses on the neuroscience of learning, the cerebellum.