Minorities and Populism: Critical Perspectives from South Asia and Europe

  • Volker Kaul
  • Ananya VajpeyiEmail author
Part of the Philosophy and Politics - Critical Explorations book series (PPCE, volume 10)


Despite the very different and to some extent opposite historical and political trajectories, there is today a convergence on nationalist affirmation and on majoritarian politics between South Asia and Europe. In India, the Hindu majority rebels against wide-ranging minority rights anchored in the Constitution. In Europe, the refugee crisis and Islamic radicalization bring to the forefront the postcolonial legacy. This introductory article to our edited volume Minorities and Populism – Critical Perspectives form South Asia and Europe is answering two fundamental questions. First, what precisely is the nexus between minorities and populism in South Asia, particularly in India, and Europe? Secondly, given the dangers of populism for minorities, which are the most adequate and feasible policy proposals that address the resentment of the majority? On the basis of the different contributions to this volume, the article draws four major conclusions: (1) Populism has its roots in growing inequalities rather than in the presence of minorities, although the danger of real identity conflicts persists. (2) The integration of Muslim communities and scheduled castes in India requires next to classical multicultural rights also affirmative action programs and quotas. (3) In Muslim-majority countries, such as Pakistan, major political, social but also theological efforts have to be made to render Islam compatible with democracy. (4) Immigration and minorities might currently sow the seeds for greater openness and tolerance of national majorities in Europe, even though processes of mutual learning and recognition might take their time to become properly rooted.


Populism Majoritarianism Hinduism Religious minorities Islam Christianity Scheduled castes Dalit Catholicism Liberal democracy Secularism Multiculturalism Affirmative action Collective rights Identity politics Social justice Immigration Europe India Pakistan Muslim-majority countries 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceLUISS ‘Guido Carli’ UniversityRomeItaly
  2. 2.Centre for the Study of Developing SocietiesNew DelhiIndia

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