A typology of right-wing populism in Europe: Intersections of gender, religion and secularity

Serdar A., Öztürk E., Giritli Nygren K.

WOMEN'S STUDIES INTERNATIONAL FORUM, vol.97, no.2, pp.1-11, 2023 (SSCI)


This study attempts to advance our understanding of the role gender plays in populist politics by proposing a typology of gendered populism. Our argument is that populist parties' discursive construction of “the people” against “elites” and “non-people” is a gendered process, in which gender operates as a constitutive element for determining who is included in or excluded from “the people”. We also argue that the gendered construction of “the people” intersects with parties' configurations of religion and secularism. We propose that this intersection forms a four dimensional space of gendered populism composed of inclusionary or exclusionary and religious or secular populisms. Our analysis comparatively examines the discourses and policies of the right wing populist parties (RWPPs) and their leaders in France, Sweden and Turkey. Despite sharing an exclusionary understanding of “the people”, the selected RWPPs represent a variegated gendered populism because of their diverging approaches to gender, religion and secularity. Our comparative analysis approaches national-institutional backgrounds concerning the legal status of secularism, political and socio-cultural secularization as possible explanatory factors for the formation of religious and secular exclusionary populism in the four dimensional space. We believe, a four dimensional approach to populism sheds light on our understanding of gendered populism and proposes a fruitful avenue for future comparative studies of populism.