Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

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MPAG 8643


In this seminar, we first examine our own identities in a reflective and critical way. Why are some identities complementary to each other, while others are contradictory? Why are some identities repressed or redefined? How and why do we express or suppress some of our identities and not others? How and why do we bring forth a particular set of identities in certain contexts and times and not others?

In the second section of the course, we investigate the social construction of identities. How do we construct the ‘other’? Under what circumstances does the ‘other’ become the enemy? We discuss nation building in this context as one group’s power over others in defining the national identity, its myths, history, language and other defining characteristics. How does nation building empower particular ethnic, religious, racial groups in this process at the expense of others? Whose cultures are privileged and others suppressed? Where is the balance between maintaining cultural diversity and group rights, at the same time creating a state which erases group privileges in order to promote individual rights and ‘citizens’ whose primary loyalty is to the ‘nation’? Where is the nation-state going in the future? Has globalization brought with it even greater identification with local cultures? The third and final section of the course focuses on the problems related to the recognition of multiculturalism. How are differences of language, religion, culture, ethnicity tolerated in today’s world? What are the conditions that promote a more effective management of multiculturalism? We attempt to explore these questions through reflective readings, discussions and investigation of multiple case studies from different parts of the world.

Public Administration
Public Administration
Intl Policy & Management
Requirements Fulfilled:
Equivalent Courses:
DPPG 8643 *
IPOL 8643