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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Identity Politics in the Public Realm

Bringing Institutions Back In

In an age of multiculturalism and identity politics, many minority groups seek some form of official recognition or public accommodation of their identity. But can public institutions accurately recognize or accommodate something as subjective and dynamic as “identity?” Avigail Eisenberg and Will Kymlicka lead a distinguished team of scholars who explore state responses to identity claims worldwide. Their case studies focus on key issues where identity is central to public policy. By illuminating both the risks and opportunities of institutional responses to diversity, this volume shows that public institutions can either enhance or distort the benefits of identity politics.

Table of Contents


1 Bringing Institutions Back In: How Public Institutions Assess Identity / AvigailEisenberg and Will Kymlicka

2 The Challenge of Census Categorization in the Post–Civil Rights Era / Melissa Nobles

3 Knowledge and the Politics of Ethnic Identity and Belonging in Colonial and Postcolonial States / Bruce J. Berman

4 Defining Indigeneity: Representation and the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act of 1997 in the Philippines / Villia Jefremovas and Padmapani L. Perez

5 Indigenous Rights in Latin America: How to Classify Afro-Descendants? / Juliet Hooker

6 Domestic and International Norms for Assessing Indigenous Identity / Avigail Eisenberg

7 The Challenge of Naming the Other in Latin America / Victor Armony

8 From Immigrants to Muslims: Shifting Categories of the French Model of Integration / Eléonore Lépinard

9 Beliefs and Religion: Categorizing Cultural Distinctions among East Asians / André Laliberté

10 Assessing Religious Identity in Law: Sincerity, Accommodation, and Harm / Lori G. Beaman

11 Reasonable Accommodations and the Subjective Conception of Freedom of Conscience and Religion / Jocelyn Maclure


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