Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


GAPRR — Result In Brief

Project ID: 312711
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: United Kingdom

Gender and ‘anti-immigration’ activism in Europe

Groundbreaking research shines light on the gender dimensions of ‘anti-immigration’ social movements in contemporary Europe.
Gender and ‘anti-immigration’ activism in Europe
Studies investigating the role played by women and gender in radical right populist (RRP) parties movements have been limited. Furthermore, the few existing qualitative studies of gender and RRP activism have failed to compare systematically the practices of women and men.

An EU-funded project, GAPRR (Gendering activism in populist radical right parties. A comparative study of women's and men's participation in the Northern League (Italy) and the National Front (France)), provided a comparative analysis of gendered dimension activism in two RRP parties. These are the Lega Nord in Italy and the Front National in France. It examined both men's and women's experiences.

The ethnographic investigation looked at the ways gender relations shape the strategies of the two parties as well as the activists’ practices, narratives and motives. It also looked at how gender relations are transformed through these processes at the interplay with class and age.

As such, gender provides a lens through which RRP parties try to project a modern and respectable public image. Today these parties attempt to normalise their public image and legitimise their ‘anti-immigration’ claims by using arguments and themes traditionally used by the left wing and feminists, such as the defence of women’s and gay rights.

The original results of the study show that the parties’ strategies are shaped by national compositions of ethnicity and gender. Additionally, the GAPRR project shows that women do not only join these movements to follow a male member – such as a husband or father – and that their motivations are not simply associated with the defence of the traditional family, as existing studies have indicated. Conversely, the research shows that men may be attracted to RRP parties because of their promotion of traditional family values.

The work will be useful for gender, politics and ethnicity scholars as well as for stakeholders concerned with the prevention of political extremism and radicalisation.

Related information


Gender, activism, radical right populist, GAPRR, Lega Nord, Front National
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