© 2020

Minorities and Populism – Critical Perspectives from South Asia and Europe

  • Volker Kaul
  • Ananya Vajpeyi

Part of the Philosophy and Politics - Critical Explorations book series (PPCE, volume 10)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Framing Populism

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 15-15
    2. Volker Kaul
      Pages 29-37
  3. Minorities and Populism

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 39-39
    2. Ajay Gudavarthy
      Pages 63-75
    3. Giuseppe Zaccaria
      Pages 77-92
  4. Muslims as Majorities and Minorities

  5. Gender, Caste & Other Religious Minorities

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 215-215

About this book


This volume assembles renowned scholars to address, for the first time, the relationship between minorities and populism in South Asia and Europe from a critical perspective. 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. Despite all rhetoric, there are obvious dangers of majoritarianism. Populist parties are divisive, partisan, disregard minority rights, engage in lynching, social division, stigmatization and exclusion, turning minorities into second-class citizens.

There is a profound structural connection between minorities and the current rise of populism in India and Europe. But there remains a deep perplexity and also anxiety: Does the presence of minorities necessarily have to trigger majoritarian policies? Are there no solutions to this dilemma? Many observers considered multicultural policies and affirmative action programs in India as a possible model for Europe to adopt in order to achieve greater integration. But eventually they seem to have failed. Why so? Are multiculturalism and the recognition of differences still options today? On the other hand, most scholars in India typically reject the European model of liberal democracy and secularism as impracticable in India and locate the reason for the current malaise in the west. But is liberal democracy really so bad in dealing with pluralism?

This volume, collecting a selection of the Reset DOC Venice-Padua-Delhi dialogue series, is going to answer two fundamental questions. First, what precisely is the nexus between minorities and populism in South Asia and Europe? Starting from those case studies, the authors will also draw some general theoretical inferences about the nature of populism. Secondly, given the dangers of populism for minorities, the volume will look for the most adequate and feasible solutions.


Minorities and Populism Populism in South Asia Ethno-Radicalism and Socio-Economic Backwardness Populism in South Asia and Europe Religion, gender, caste Multiculturalism and identity politics Intolerance of populism Michael Sandel Armed Ethnic Conflicts Resurgence of Women’s Movement Affirmative Action for Minorities Solidarity in Diverse Societies Neoliberal Multiculturalism and Welfare Chauvinism Integration and Discrimination Muslim Minorities Minorities, Majorities and Terrorism

Editors and affiliations

  • Volker Kaul
    • 1
  • Ananya Vajpeyi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceLUISS ‘Guido Carli’ UniversityRomeItaly
  2. 2.Centre for the Study of Developing SocietiesNew DelhiIndia

About the editors

Volker Kaul teaches at the Department of Political Science at LUISS 'Guido Carli' University in Rome and is research associate at the observatory LUISS ETHOS. He is also lecturer at the CEA Rome Center. Moreover, he works as scientific coordinator of the Istanbul/Venice Seminars for Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations. His work focuses on the nexus between identity and politics. In 2016, he published together with Seyla Benhabib a book entitled Toward New Democratic Imaginaries – Istanbul Seminars on Islam, Culture and Politics for Springer. He is co-editing since 2010 a yearly special issue of the journal Philosophy & Social Criticism on issues related to culture, religion and politics. He has another forthcoming book with Ingrid Salvatore on What is Pluralism? for Routledge.

Ananya Vajpeyi is a Fellow and Associate Professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi. In 2019-20 she is a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) at the University of Cambridge. She works at the intersection of intellectual history, political theory and critical philology. She is the author of Righteous Republic: The Political Foundations of Modern India (Harvard University Press, 2012) and Prolegomena to the Study of People and Places in Violent India (WISCOMP, 2007), as well as the co-editor of Ashis Nandy: A Life in Dissent (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Minorities and Populism – Critical Perspectives from South Asia and Europe
  • Editors Volker Kaul
    Ananya Vajpeyi
  • Series Title Philosophy and Politics - Critical Explorations
  • Series Abbreviated Title Philosophy, Politics - Critical Explorat.
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy Philosophy and Religion (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-34097-1
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-34100-8
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-34098-8
  • Series ISSN 2352-8370
  • Series E-ISSN 2352-8389
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIII, 286
  • Number of Illustrations 5 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Islam
    Political Theory
    Comparative Politics
    Asian Politics
    European Politics
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