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Gender and Extremism

Understanding how notions of gender identities, values, norms and behaviors frame (far right) views and (far right) ideologies.

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German 'Demo fur Alle' protest against the 'gender agenda'. These anti-gender protests have been attended by members of AfD, NPD and IBD. Image: Demo fur Alle (Creative Commons).

Gender dimensions of extremism

Gender dimensions are integral to extremism, but how to untangle and make sense of the ways in which gender intersects with the many dimensions of extremist actors, organizations and movements is not necessarily evident. Our aim is to better understand how notions of gender identities, values, norms and behaviors frame views and ideologies. We aim to examine the roles of men and women alike, and the extent to which gendered norms and values become an axis for differing political identifications, and outcomes.

While the interconnection between gender and extremist movements is a strong focus in both reporting and research, we see that the strongest policy engagement in this field is linked to women’s roles in potential de-radicalization efforts. While we see the value in focusing on the interconnectedness with gender and prevention measures, we also see a need to broaden the understanding and ask how gender dimensions intersect on multiple levels of engagement as well as dis-engagement and what this means for in-group and out-group identification and conceptualization.

Key questions

  • To what extent do gender analyses enhance our understand extremism?
  • In what ways are notions of gender roles or femininity/masculinity a key part of extreme ideologies, including the  construction of heroes and enemies?
  • What is the role of masculinity and femininity in processes of engagement disengagement?
  • How do conceptualizations of gender affect policy recommendations and outcomes?

Head of Research Group