The populist challenge to gender equality

Authored by: Birte Siim , Christina Fiig

The Routledge Handbook of Gender and EU Politics

Print publication date:  March  2021
Online publication date:  March  2021

Print ISBN: 9781138485259
eBook ISBN: 9781351049955
Adobe ISBN:


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There is an increasing scholarly interest in populism in contemporary Europe. The rise of right-wing populism (RWP) parties in several European nation states and within the European Parliament is usually interpreted as a challenge to liberal values, such as democracy, freedom and equality, that hints at fundamental problems for European societies and the European Union (Loch and Norocel 2015; Müller 2016; Verloo 2018a). This chapter discusses the relations between populism and gender in EU member states and EU institutions. While mainstream literature on populism, with few exceptions, has neglected gender issues, there is a new body of work on gender and right-wing populism and neo-nationalism. Gender scholars usually agree that nationalist (and populist) discourses have a gender bias, which constructs men and women differently in their public and private lives. Yet, no agreement exists on the implications of populism for gender equality and feminist politics in contemporary Europe (cf. Knijn and Naldini 2018)

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