Gender and Sexuality Research in the Age of Populism: Lessons for Political Science – European Political Science – article

Gender and Sexuality Research in the Age of Populism: Lessons for Political Science

Isabelle Engeli | European Political Science

2019-10-22

Gender and politics research faces a crossroad in the age of populism. On the one hand, gender and sexuality research is on the way to institutionalisation across a growing number of academic systems in Europe. On the other, gender and sexuality research has become increasingly contested and attacked, and has become the bête noire of the populist and radical right. This contribution contends that gender research is under threat not only because of the gender component, but also because of the scholarly research. There are thus lessons to be drawn for the wider discipline of political science. This article first sketches out the dualization in the institutionalization of gender-related research. It then situates the hostility towards gender and sexuality research in the broader (and growing) opposition to gender + and sexual + equality. It concludes with some preliminary observations about the how this hostility may be part of a wider contestation of academic expertise and scholarly knowledge that is being led, at least in part, by populist forces of all stripes.

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