CfP: “The politicization of gender in populist times”

*This year the SISP conference will not take place as planned due to the covid-19 emergency. Therefore, this CfP is an initiative of the SISP Section “Political Participation and Social Movements” and the related Standing Group.


Section_Participation and Social Movements
Panel_ The politicization of gender in populist times
Panel Chair: Emiliana de Blasio, Francesca Feo, Manuela Caiani


The re-emergence of populisms and in particular those linked to the radical right has determined the revival of a conservative agenda on gender issues, whose major traits consist of sponsoring patriarchal social relations and heteronormativity through masculinist tropes, maternalist and pro-family policies.
The populist radical right is strongly engaged in a struggle against “liberal” values, whose feminism is targeted as a symbol; at the same time, it seems establishing a connection with the neo-liberal values in economics and work organisation. The conservative backlash has highlighted all the contradictions present both in the complex relationship between feminism and left-wing political parties and social movements, and in the positions articulated by neoliberal feminisms. The development of what has been called “common sense neoliberalism” played a role in anesthetizing the issues related to the gender dimension.
At the same time, populist radical right parties are not considered anymore as men’s parties, as they experienced a rise of prominent female activists and leaders. The raise in participation may seem contradictory. If traditional explanation depicts women as passive followers of far-right politics, little is known about the factors that lead women to engage with these political actors.
Against this theoretical background, this panel welcomes contributions on the complex relationships between gender, populisms and ‘neoliberal ideology’. In particular, we are particularly interested in contributions touching upon the following themes:

–           The construction of gender in populist discourses
–           Gendered practices within populist parties and movements
–           Female leadership in populist parties and movements
–           Female activism in populist parties and movements
–           Mediatisation of women’s leadership in populist discourse
–           Feminist activism against populist movements and parties

The panel will take place on Meet on 2 September, 2020 (time: 10-12) (invitation will follow after the selection of the papers). The conference invites theoretical and empirical contributions from all related academic fields and from various methodological approaches.
The deadline for paper proposals is 30 of June, 2020. Please send an abstract (max. 400 words) together with a short bio to, and
Notification of acceptance will be sent by the 15 July, 2020.
There is no registration fee.

The panel will be recorded as a SISP event and advertise on the SISP section Political Participation and Social Movements website