State and Identity

  • Françoise Mengin
Part of the St Antony’s book series


Political representations are commonly associated with the concept of nation, whether the nation is instrumentalized to resist the state, or whether it legitimates the state, and many stages are possible in this functional game.1 But faced with the various fragmentations the world is subject to, alongside the nation emerges the concept of identity that expresses the numerous senses of belonging of each and every person. However, identities gain a political sense only through the state. First, the identity construct is part and parcel of the very existence of the state. Second, even if pluralism is admitted, it is the state that shapes the expression of identities in definite entities.2 As Christian Coulon puts it, ‘the State favours identity crystallizations and reconstructions’.3


Sweet Potato National Identity Democratic Progressive Party Direct Election Legislative Yuan 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1999

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  • Françoise Mengin

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