According to several authors, the politics of recognition are at an impasse. The politicization of identity, they claim, relies on a hermetic and essentialist conception of culture. Although this critique hits the target in some specific circumstances, nevertheless it misrepresents the more general process of intercultural mediation triggered by the politics of recognition. That said, the emphasis on the end-state of substantive recognition does seem to lead to an impasse. The struggles for recognition, and the identities that underlie these struggles, are too plural, convoluted and fluid to be theorized as quests for definitive recognition. Thus, identity politics ought also to be seen as agonic games of mutual disclosure which participate in the ongoing reconfiguration of the norms of public recognition inherent in democratic politics.