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    From neglect to threat: feminist responses to right wing populism in the European Union

    Cullen, Pauline (2021) From neglect to threat: feminist responses to right wing populism in the European Union. European Politics and Society, 22 (4). pp. 520-537. ISSN 2374-5118

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    This article explores the response of a European Union (EU) feminist civil society organization (CSO) the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) to right wing populist opposition (RWP) to gender equality in Europe. RWP forces rely on gender politics to advance their projects co-opting ideas used by feminists at the same time vilifying feminist idea and actors. Feminist oppositions to RWP are as such complicated by how RWP forces co-opt constructions of gender justice and the proximity between RWP and feminist critiques of economic governance, austerity and EU integration. The EWL work to counter RWP frameworks but are tied to EU imperatives, weakened by austerity and a neglect of gender equality at EU level. Social movement concepts of framing theory are applied to the EWL response to reveal counter framing directed to EU elites, underlining how illiberal threats to gender equality are emblematic of a deeper crisis facing European democracies and as such deserving of a robust and well-resourced defence. Frame saving aims to re-politicise gender equality as an EU ideal and feminism as a project for the common good. RWP opposition to gender equality creates a discursive opportunity for the EWL to claim relevance as a vanguard of progressive anti-populist values in Europe.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Gender equality; right wing populism; feminism; European Union;
    Academic Unit: Centre for European and Eurasian Studies
    Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology
    Item ID: 16399
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Dr. Pauline Cullen
    Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2022 15:04
    Journal or Publication Title: European Politics and Society
    Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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