IPSA, Lisbon 25-29th July 2020- Session RC03 European Unification

Panel: Euroscepticism as a gendered phenomenon? Gender equality, values and opposition to the EU

Panel Chair: Charlotte Galpin

This panel explores Euroscepticism as a gendered phenomenon. The EU has long been seen as a ‘gender actor’, with a variety of policy-making instruments in place to promote gender equality in EU law. Since 2010, gender mainstreaming as an approach has been embedded within the Lisbon Treaty. Furthermore, the EU itself has sought to construct an identity based on gender equality as a founding value. Such efforts therefore present the possibility that opposition to the EU also draws on opposition to gender equality as a fundamental principle of European integration. In fact, the Brexit referendum in the UK has demonstrated a link between voting leave and the belief that feminism is a ‘social ill’ as well as with opposition to a range of other social liberal values such as LGBTQ rights and environmentalism.

The link between gender and nationalism has been well-established. Increasing attention is also being paid to the links between right-wing populism and opposition to so-called “gender ideology”, as well as Islamophobic attitudes in the context of migration to Europe. Yet, the gendered dynamics behind Euroscepticism have been understudied. This panel therefore addresses some important questions about Euroscepticism as a multi-faceted and interdisciplinary concept: for example, to what extent do Eurosceptic parties mobilise opposition to gender equality as a fundamental principle of the EU? How far can Eurosceptic discourse itself be understood as gendered? In what was do Eurosceptic media – traditional and online – marginalise women and non-binary people from debates about the EU? The panel welcomes theoretical, empirical and intersectional contributions from a range of perspectives – such as those dealing with political parties, identities and discourse, media, history or public opinion.

Deadline for abstracts: Monday 7th October, please send to c.a.galpin@bham.ac.uk