Varieties of antigenderism: the politicization of gender issues across three European populist radical right parties
ISSN der Zeitschrift
This research contributes to the study of populist radical right parties’ (PRRPs) role in gendered democratic backsliding by analyzing their articulation and symbolic representation of gender issues. We compare the politicization of gender issues across three European PRRPs, examining how context-speciﬁc gendered opportunity structures – the level of contestation of gender issues in their country, the resonance of antigenderism among their electorate, and their issue repertoire and historical trajectory – shape the extent and ways in which the German AfD, the Italian Lega and the Sweden Democrats politicize gender issues. We conduct a quantitative content analysis of PRRPs’ framing of gender issues and construct topic networks based on the parties’ Facebook and Twitter posts during the European Parliament election campaign 2019. We analyze the salience of gender issues, the broader topical context in which they are embedded, the speciﬁc gender issues addressed, and the parties’ positions on these issues. Our results show how context-speciﬁc gendered opportunities shape PRRPs’ national gender discourses: A low level of contestation, evidenced by a high public recognition and legal protection of gender and sexual equality, seems to foster a femonationalist framing, while antigenderist discourse is less pronounced in such a context. Instead, a higher level of contestation, expressed in a lower public recognition and legal protection of gender and sexual equality, seems to foster antigenderist discourse. A transnational femonationalist framing, shared by all analyzed parties, relates to a common nativist ideological core.