The Formation and Transformation of Political Identity: Leaders of the Chilean Left, 1968-1990
Based on a study of the 1960s generation of Chilean left-wing leaders, this article offers a three-dimensional model of individual political identity to examine how leaders justify their contributions to society and the political programmes of which they are a part. The central dimension of individual political identity is that of cognitive frameworks, that is, individuals' fundamental approaches to politics, rooted in the values they assign to ideas, political organisation and their relationships to fellow political leaders and activists. The article identifies four cognitive ideal-types: political party loyalists, personal loyalists, political thinkers and political entrepreneurs. The article concludes that the conceptualisation of individual political identity is a powerful explanatory framework for understanding the formulation and reformulation of political thinking and action, particularly in periods in which political institutions are in a state of flux or crisis.