Identity Politics and the Rise of “New” Populisms/Nationalisms in Europe

One of the most tricky challenge posed by identity politics to modern liberal democracies stems from the fact that constitutional theories, such as multiculturalism or supranationalism, do no longer seem to be capable of fixing the conflicts that arise in our pluralistic societies. Social groups increasingly believe that their identities—whether national, religious, ethnic, gender, etc.—are not receiving adequate recognition in the public square. Whenever these requests for identity’s recognition cannot find places and tools whereby make their voice heard, they may lead to forms of populism and nationalism.
The present paper, after a theoretical focus on the identity issue, aims to investigate the origin of populisms/nationalisms within the EU and to address the following questions: how can constitutionalism, especially European constitutionalism, face the challenges involved in the nexus between identity politics and populism? How can identity be used to unify and not to divide?