Identity & Violence
Amartya Sen argues that most of the conflicts in the contemporary world arise from individuals’ notions of who they are, and which groups they belong to – local, national, religious – which define themselves in opposition to others.
Profound and humane, Amartya Sen’s Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny examines some of the most explosive problems of our time and shows how we can move towards peace as firmly as we have spiralled towards war.
In this penetrating book, Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen argues that we are becoming increasingly divided along lines of religion and culture, ignoring the many other ways in which people see themselves, from class and profession to morals and politics. When we are put into narrow categories the importance of human life becomes lost.
Through his lucid exploration of such subjects as multiculturalism, fundamentalism, terrorism and globalization, he brings out the need for a clear-headed understanding of human freedom and a constructive public voice in Global civil society. The hope of harmony in today’s world lies in a clearer understanding of our sheer diversity.
‘Identity and Violence is a moving, powerful essay about the mischief of bad ideas’
‘Impassioned, eloquent and often moving, Identity and Violence is a sustained attack on the “solitarist” theory which says that human identities are formed by membership of a single social group’
John Gray, Guardian
‘Rich in ideas … I would love to send it to Osama bin Laden and have his reply’
‘Sen’s moving and most personal book yet’
The Times Literary Supplement
‘Stimulating … simple and persuasive’
‘An accessible and exceptional humanitarian’
Jon Snow, New Statesman Heroes of Our Time
Amartya Sen is Lamont University Professor at Harvard. He won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998. His other books published by Penguin include The Argumentative Indian and The Idea of Justice.