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The child as cipher for a politics of ‘traditional values’ in the anti-gender movement: A comparative study of Russia and Germany


CHILDCIPH proposes a two-year fellowship at the School of Arts and Communication (K3) at Malmö University, Sweden. The recent rise of illiberal, conservative and right-wing populist movements poses an acute threat to democracy and equality in Europe. One pervasive but underresearched strand of these movements advocates ‘traditional family values’, in particular conservative sexual and gender politics, in the name of protecting children. The project will fill this research gap through interdisciplinary research examining the discursive construction of the child as the ultimate site of vulnerability and risk, and hence in need of protection and policy intervention. The irrational, or affective component of such discourses calls for an approach capable of accounting for their emotive force or ‘grip’. This proposal aims to develop such an approach, combining insights and methodology from political discourse theory, media studies and psychosocial studies. The research is characterised by a significant comparative dimension, analysing discourses by conservative, ‘pro-traditional family values’ actors, from politicians to activists, in Germany and Russia. The project will generate 3 articles and will be presented at international conferences, through blog posts, public events, as well as policy recommendations. The host institution will benefit from an interdisciplinary project that operationalizes the role of emotions and affect in media research – an aim central to the work of the Rethinking Democracy research platform, while it will benefit my career trajectory by establishing me as an independent researcher with a unique and thorough expertise on the role of emotions and affect in analyzing processes of negative political mobilization, in particular in issues threatening gender equality and LGBT rights.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/political science/political communication
  • /social sciences/political science/government systems/democracy
  • /social sciences/sociology/gender studies/gender equality

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MSCA-IF-EF-ST - Standard EF


Nordenskioldsgatan 1
205 06 Malmoe
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 203 852,16