Quite an interesting article from Maggie Penn.
From Many, One: State Representation and the Construction of an American Identity
Journal of Theoretical Politics, July 2009, Pages 343-364
I present a formal model of the effect of political representation on the formation of group identities using the drafting of the United States Constitution as a case study. I first show the presence of `factions', or groups with competing interests, to be beneficial in forging a national identity. Next, I use this model to argue that the Great Compromise succeeded as more than a political maneuver to ensure ratification of the Constitution; it created a political environment in which an American national identity could emerge. I find that representation schemes that ignore group distinctions and use the individual as the basic unit of political representation may induce individuals to embrace a group-based notion of identity. Conversely, acknowledging group distinctions by using the group as a unit of political representation may induce individuals to embrace a more universalistic conception of identity, and thus may make group distinctions less salient.
(Nod to Kevin L)