Populism as the Politics of (Mis)Recognition


Society consists of several different groups possessing unique demands, interests, and lifestyles. The power relations among these groups tend to result in inequalities and injustices, causing certain ways of life to degrade despite democracy’s ultimate aim of providing equal opportunities for all. The politics of recognition and populism arrive in this context as two forms of politics aiming to fix the problems found in the disadvantaged sections of society. By revolting against society’s asymmetrical relations in the constructive social power that brings with it the ability to define the boundaries, relevance, and status of identities, populism presents itself as a significant solution to the claims of recognition. Nevertheless, populism excludes the essential requirements of the politics of recognition such as dialogue, negotiation, and discussion through its antagonistic distinction between the people and the elite. Populism also reflects on its problematic understanding of representation with regard to struggles for recognition and its instrumentalization of feelings of misrecognition. This paper offers a view of populism as a false response to the politics of recognition that uses demands for recognition to shift but not balance the power asymmetry in society.

Anahtar Kelimeler

Politics of recognition populism identity misrecognition constructive social power