“Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment" by Dr. Francis Fukuyama
Dr. Fukuyama delves into the core ideas of his recent book, Identity, during his seminar. The central theme revolves around the demand for recognition of one's identity, which serves as a pivotal concept uniting various global political dynamics.
In liberal democracies, the traditional foundation of universal recognition is being challenged by more narrow forms of identity based on factors such as nation, religion, sect, race, ethnicity, or gender. This shift has given rise to phenomena like anti-immigrant populism, the politicization of Islam, the contentious landscape of "identity liberalism" on college campuses, and the emergence of white nationalism.
Contrary to the belief that populist nationalism is solely rooted in economic motivations, Fukuyama argues that it fundamentally stems from the demand for recognition. Economic solutions alone cannot satisfy this demand. He contends that the demand for identity is an intrinsic aspect of human nature that cannot be transcended; rather, it needs to be consciously shaped in a manner that supports, rather than undermines, the principles of democracy.
This seminar explores the intricate relationship between identity, politics, and the challenges faced by liberal democracies in the contemporary global landscape.
This seminar is sponsored by the Economics and Political Science Departments, the Harold Stassen United Nations Lecture Series and the Class of 1957 Visiting Scholar for Interdisciplinary Studies.
Francis Fukuyama is the Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), and a faculty member of FSI's Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL). He is also Director of Stanford's Ford Dorsey Master's in International Policy, and a professor (by courtesy) of Political Science.
Dr. Fukuyama has written widely on issues in development and international politics. His 1992 book, The End of History and the Last Man, has appeared in over twenty foreign editions. His most recent book, Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment, was published in Sept. 2018. His latest book, Liberalism and Its Discontents, was published in May 2022.
Francis Fukuyama received his B.A. from Cornell University in classics, and his Ph.D. from Harvard in Political Science. He was a member of the Political Science Department of the RAND Corporation, and of the Policy Planning Staff of the US Department of State. From 1996-2000 he was Omer L. and Nancy Hirst Professor of Public Policy at the School of Public Policy at George Mason University, and from 2001-2010 he was Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. He served as a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics from 2001-2004.
Dr. Fukuyama holds honorary doctorates from Connecticut College, Doane College, Doshisha University (Japan), Kansai University (Japan), Aarhus University (Denmark), and the Pardee Rand Graduate School. He is a non-resident fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and at the Center for Global Development. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Rand Corporation, the Board of Governors of the Pardee Rand Graduate School and the Volcker Alliance, and a member of the American Political Science Association and the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Fukuyama is married to Laura Holmgren and has three children.