The possible links between citizen participation and populism

At least two aspects are worth mentioning in the relation between citizen participation & populism. Firstly, the latter is aware of the current participatory gap. In this aspect it is similar to “innovative” theories such as participatory and deliberative democracy. Nevertheless, solutions are different. I will explain to what extent it is such a difference. A second relation is that populism has a distinctive conception of citizen participation. Even when populist movements tend to reject constitutional structures, once in power, populist governments tend to instrumentalize constitutions for their own good. “Populist constitutionalism” serves us to understand that ambivalence. As a theory, populist constitutionalism places itself between popular and authoritarian constitutionalism. I argue that a “participatory” criterion is useful in defining its closeness to one of these poles. The cases of Andean and Hungarian populist constitutionalism serves to exemplify this idea