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Matthijs Bogaards, Andrea Peto: Gender and Illiberalism in Post-Communist Europe

Often, opposition to gender equality and anti‐gender campaigns take place in countries that are witnessing a decline in democratic quality, our Research Affiliates Matthijs Bogaards and Andrea Peto write in the special issue of Politics and Governance, edited by them.

Illiberalism as a challenge to democracy is well documented. The proliferation of illiberal democracies around the world has been studied since at least the 1990s. Less well-known is the relationship between illiberalism and gender. Recent events in such countries as Hungary and Poland show that the attack on liberal democracy is also an attack on gender equality and the LGBTQT community.

The eleven articles of this special issue with an introduction seek to explore the relationship between illiberalism and gender, focusing on a region where gender progress is under threat from de-democratization: post-communist Europe. The contributions to this special issue will investigate the gendered working of illiberal institutions as well as the policies, mechanisms, and discourses used to (re-)construct gender as a threat to populist and nationalist visions of the polity, society, family, and individual. The contributions will demonstrate illiberalism’s impact on gendered issues in a broad range of social, economic, and political spheres, including the labor market, culture, academia, the legal system, foreign policy, and security. They will do so from a variety of perspectives and a diversity of academic backgrounds, together building the first systematic examination of the relationship between illiberalism and gender in post-communist Europe.

The papers were presented at the conference supported by Thyssen Foundation with the same title in November 2021 at CEU Vienna Campus.

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