Daten zum Projekt

The Populism of the Precarious: Marginalization, Mobilization, and Mediatization of South Asia's Religious Minorities

Initiative: Freigeist-Fellowships
Bewilligung: 02.07.2019
Laufzeit: 5 Jahre


Populism is one of the most debated issues in politics today. Referring to movements both on the left and on the right, such as Brexit, Trumpism, or Podemos, as "populist" gives the impression that we are witnessing a global trend. When political analysts speak about a global rise in populism, however, they often base their assumptions exclusively on European or US American events. The project looks at how religious minorities in India and Pakistan use practices often associated with populism to make their demands for inclusion and equal opportunities heard. Focusing on Christian, Hindu, and Sikh minorities in Pakistan as well as Muslim minorities in India, it first explores the reasons behind their marginalization. In a second step, it analyzes the politics that emerge out of such precarious conditions. This will help to understand how religious minorities unite in solidarity with other, often similarly marginalized, communities and how they seek to present themselves as "the people" entitled to certain rights. In these dynamics, media practices play a crucial role to establish and sustain the popularity of their demands. In short, the project aims to contribute to a better understanding of populist practices by including South Asian political landscapes.


  • Dr. Jürgen Schaflechner

    Freie Universität Berlin
    Fachbereich Politik- und Sozialwissenschaften
    Institut für Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie