Global Identity

Finding a social bond becomes difficult in the age of globalization. Citizens still share values and common interests, but in the marketplace of identities, the notion of national exceptionalism faces multiple challenges. From Australia to the United States, Britain to the Netherlands, Germany to Japan, Canada to France, nation-states seek to cultivate a unique bond that goes beyond market economy and political liberalism; be global and at, the same time, keep a core that distinguishes the “here” from the “there.” Whatever it is, finding a basis for social commonality and identification is one of the challenges of the 21st century.

The project examines three issues: [1] the concept of constitutional identity—its normative sources, methods of identification, and mechanisms of legal protection, as well as how it differs from other conceptions of identity (national identity, way of life, etc.); [2] whether it is justified to protect fundamental changes in a country’s constitutional identity by setting selective rules for admission; [3] how should states reconcile tensions between the claims to identity made by majorities and minority groups? On the whole, the project analyzes the nexus between migration and identity under different approaches (international, comparative, theoretical), disciplines (law, philosophy, sociology, IR), and levels (national, regional, international).


This project is based at the WZB Berlin. Researchers: