Workshop: "We-identity and its social and political implications"

Political discourse is currently imbued with expressions that presuppose communal awareness and the ability of individuals to think of others as one of us. ‘We’ are the people who have inherited a shared body of values and perspectives on the world, setting the boundaries of the group and what is acceptable for its members as opposed to those who do not belong. However, it is currently a hotly debated topic, both academically and politically, how such a notion of ‘we-ness’ or ‘we-identity’ is established, stabilized and mobilized.

In the workshop, we will explore these questions drawing on resources from both philosophy, social psychology and political science. We will examine the difference between a direct face-to-face based form of the we-identity that involves an awareness of a particular and distinct other in the here and now and more anonymous forms of group behaviour and affiliation, say groups whose members have never met in person, but who are nevertheless unified via shared rituals, conventions, traditions or normative expectations. We will discuss the role of the ‘they’ or the outgroup in the constitution of the we. What is the link between group affiliation and social exclusion? How is the coherence and unity of the we influenced by the combined process of identifying with and dissociating from others? In what ways are group identities mobilized politically, how do conflicts over the content of e.g. national identities play out, and how do such identities impact social goods such as various aspects of social cohesion?

The workshop is open to all, no registration needed.



Martijn van Zomeren (University of Groningen): The psychological foundation of “We-ness”: Antecedents and consequences of social identity in political contexts


Alba Montes Sanchez & Dan Zahavi (CFS, University of Copenhagen): Genomics and collective identity


Coffee Break


Alessandro Salice (University College Cork) & Thomas Szanto (CFS, University of Copenhagen): Terrorism and Distrust: A Collective Agency Account




Nasar Meer (Strathclyde University): Liberal Citizenship and Multicultural Europe


Karen Nielsen Breidahl, Nils Holtug and Kristian Kongshøj (AMIS, University of Copenhagen): Do Shared Values Promote Social Cohesion? If So, Which? Evidence From Denmark


Coffee Break


Nils Holtug (AMIS, University of Copenhagen): Identity, Causality and Social Cohesion


Download programme here