Uncivil Agreement How Politics Became Our Identity Summary

You read all the time how polarized American politics has become. Why is that so? Liliana Mason Unziviles: The way politics has become our identity is a new and convincing entry into our constant understanding of identity and politics. … Based on abundant statistical data, Mason`s main argument is that our democracy is threatened by the stacking of identities. It means that our identities are increasingly “socially classified.” In the past, people had a variety of “sharp” identities. The average man belonged to many different social groups that may have different material and ideological interests. For example, the region, class and ideology in the middle of the century did not have to rank strictly on partisanism. Upper-class southern countries tended to be Democrats, while the upper class of the northern countries were Republican. It is very easy to read, and I recommend it to anyone interested in politics.

Not only American policy, but also British policy, because we can see many of these trends in the UK, particularly in the face of the polarisation of the UK`s exit from the European Union. In conclusion, she examines the implications of her argument for the future of American democracy. While Mason is cautious about how easily we can end the identity conflict that is currently at the heart of American politics, he discusses several scientifically sound measures that we should consider. Some of them are classic remedies to intergroup conflicts, put forward by psychologists, such as strengthening contacts between Democrats and Republicans. B, and the search for common goals or identities that can unite people beyond the boundaries of all parties. Others focus on possible changes within the parties themselves, including the focus of party leaders on setting standards of camaraderie and tolerance and the prospect of greater division within the Republican Party, which “introduce cross-cutting divisions that suppress social polarization and social distance.” In this final chapter, the author asks: “How does American politics return to the work of governance instead of focusing so much of our energy on partisan victory, conflict and pride?” Uncivil Agreement cannot answer question two, at least not like the last ethnography that were discussed above, but it has much to say on questions one and three. Mason cleverly shows that social triage has created an American policy where party victory is preferable to political order, which ultimately leads to the superiority of a candidate like Donald Trump.