I recently finished listening to the book, “Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment” by Prof. Francis Fukuyama, on Audible. Overall, I think this is a great book on identity politics. The book is very readable and gives a good introduction on the basic ideas of identity politics.
The core argument of the book can be summarized as follows. Human beings want to be recognized by the society, and such demand for recognition can connect people and help them form groups. In other words, human beings form groups based on some identities. Such identity affects people’s decisions on voting and other issues. The author uses identity politics to explain a wide range of phenomenon, say, the rise of Trump in USA, the rise of right-wing populist politicians in Europe, etc. One more thing mentioned in the book is the shift of left-wing parties’ agenda in developed countries: they now focus more on identity politics (i.e., issues related to minority groups).
My main comment is that identity politics approach may not contradict to economic theory. Because we can write down identity component into the utility function and analyze how people make decisions under this modeling strategy. Of course, a weakness of this approach is that it does not answer how the identity forms.