Author: Amartya Sen
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): Dr. Supriya Sahasrabudhe
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9780143065395
The world maybe may be more riven by murderous violence than ever before, yet Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen argues in this sweeping philosophical work that the brutalities are driven as much by confusion as by inescapable hatred.
It was at the age of eleven that Amartya Sen first encountered murder. The Hindu-Muslim riots, which suddenly erupted in the 1940s in India, were led by instigators one both sides. Most of the victims-both Hindus and Muslims-in those riots wee poor labourers of the same class. But nothing other than religious identity was allowed to count in the murderous world of singular classification.
Sen argues in his new book that conflict and violence are sustained today, no less than in the past, by the illusion of a unique identity. Indeed, the world is increasingly taken to be divided between religions (or cultures or civilizations), ignoring the relevance of other ways in which people see themselves through class, gender, profession, language, literature, science, music, morals or politics, and denying the real possibilities of reasoned choices. When good relations among different human being are identified in this way, human beings are deeply miniaturized and deposited into little boxes.
Here Sen overturns such stereotypes as the monolithic Middle East or the Western Mind. Through his penetrating investigation of 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 world, Sen shows, can be made to move towards peace as firmly as it has recently spiraled towards war.
Amartya Sen is a great humanitarian. His courageous voice comes through loud and clear in this thought-provoking work. Speaking out against dangerous stereotypes and irrational hatreds, Sen analyzes the challenges global leaders face in fighting terrorism and quelling sectarian violence. Identity and Violence identifies the positive public action that is needed to make the world a better place.
In this great book of social science Amartya Sen brings to our generation a new and modern vision of how to obtain peace, by respecting the humanity and diversity of others. The book has another reward for its readers, since it also opens an autobiographical window on Amartya Sen himself. Living up to his idea for behaviour will make us all better people, as it is also the way to world peace.
-George Akerlof, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 2001
Amartya Sen is uniquely qualified to explore the central conundrum of our time. From 1947 when he witnessed the explosive identity violence of India’s partition, to the identity savagery I witnessed in Bosnia and Rwanda, Palestine and Sudan, and now the war between extreme Islam and the west, our world cries out for solutions. Amartya Sen challenges and sets conventional wisdom on its head as he finds new answers.
-Christiane Amanpour, CNN
Amartya Sen provides lucid and convincing critique of current trends in communitarian and culturalist thinking, underlining for us in a way that only a scholar of his background and learning can of the complexity and multidimensionality of modern identity.
The Violence of Illusion
Making Sense of Identity
Religious Affiliations and Muslim History
West and Anti-West
Culture and Captivity
Glogalization and Voice
Multiculturalism and freedom
Freedom to Think