National Populism and Identity Politics: Towards the Political Participation of Minorities

Political pluralism questioned the paradigm of national political equality and laid the foundation for denying state unity. Multiculturalism claimed for institutionalizing different forms of political participation according culture. The ‘identity politics’ and the ‘politics of presence’ suggested that cultural minorities and disadvantaged groups should be entitled to special forms of political representation and veto rights. This evoked two related problems, which this paper explores in-depth: the increasing pressure on democratic institutions and the rise of populism. It addresses the controversy of to which extent is populism a reaction to the integration of structural minorities, immigrants, and disadvantaged groups in democratic decision processes. This research concludes by pointing out the main elements for the establishment of a constitutional and legal framework that avoids the populist exploitation of the political participation of minorities and disadvantaged groups.