Building upon a theoretical framework of democratic exclusion as a tool of public policy, Rebecca Kook uses sources as diverse as postage stamps and public festivals to unravel the 'logic' of democratic identity. She makes the provocative argument that membership in democracies is inherently exclusionary, and that national exclusion is a tacit requirement for successfully democratic regimes. Moving from a discussion of the political and legal construction of national identity to the particular experiences of the African American minority in the United States and the Palestinian minority in Israel, Kook raises serious questions about the potential for real democracy in societies plagued by complex racial and ethnic divides and social, economic, and political inequality.
Rebecca B. Kook teaches in the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Part 1 Democracies and the Politics of Collective National Identity Chapter 2 Introduction Chapter 3 National Identity and Collective Action Part 4 The Political and Legal Construction of National Identity Chapter 5 Representing American National Identity: The Shifting Status of African Americans Chapter 6 National Identity in Israel: Being a Palestinian in a Jewish State Chapter 7 The Legal Construction of Membership in Israel Part 8 The Symbolic Contours of Identity Chapter 9 Reinventing the Invisible Man: African Americans and the American Symbolic Indexes of Identity Chapter 10 Nationalizing Religion: The Israeli National Symbolic Matrix Part 11 Explaining Inclusion: The Search for Stability Chapter 12 Rewriting National Identity: From Blacks to African Americans Chapter 13 The Crisis of Israeli Collective National Identity