The origins and problems of ‘The Great Awokening’

Yascha Mounk discusses his new book 'The Identity Trap'

Listen | 50:05

In his new book, The Identity Trap: A Story of Ideas and Power in Our Time, political scientist Yascha Mounk has written the most comprehensive and detailed account yet of how a new form of progressive thinking has taken over the politics of the left. Mounk chronicles the rise of a set of ideas which are “centrally concerned with the role that identity categories like race, gender, and sexual orientation play in the world.” This fixation on identity, rejecting “universal values and neutral rules like free speech and equal opportunity as mere distractions,” draws its strength, Mounk argues, from the way it took over cultural institutions, although it has not convinced more than a small number of people. These ideas are not just frequently wrong but inimical to a functioning society, he tells Hugh Linehan in today’s Inside Politics podcast.

Produced by Declan Conlon. JJ Vernon on sound.

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