Research Program on Populism & Gender

The ECPS Research Program on Populism and Gender aims to highlight the gendered aspects of populism across the world by facilitating studies on populist movements, policies, and governance with a focus on the analytical categories of gender and sexuality.

A core question that will be addressed in this research program is whether it is possible to find a consistent and specific relationship between gender and populism, or whether the treatment of gender and sexuality in populism is simply contextual and instrumental to other concerns. In the form of various outputs such as webinars, interviews, policy papers, and research articles, the program’s objective is to make an empirical and comprehensive contribution to understanding the relationship between gender and populism by:

  • Analysing the vastly different treatment of gender issues across the populist discourse and politics;
  • Exploring how gender is relevant in populism’s moral distinction between “the corrupt elite” and “the pure people”;
  • Uncovering the contradictions of female populist leadership, in an environment where strong charismatic leadership is associated with predominantly masculine attributes;
  • Questioning whether populist politics lead to the expansion or erosion of civil and political rights for women; 
  • Examining the extent to which the populist base and voting behaviour is gendered;
  • Explaining in what ways gender issues are instrumental to other concerns in populist politics and discourses.

The program welcomes scholars and experts on a variety of topics including but not limited to

  • Gender governance
  • Feminist and anti-feminist politics
  • Gender-based and sexual violence
  • Family and social policies
  • The intersections of gender with
    • Nationalism
    • Patriotism
    • Race
    • Religion
    • Economics.