Gender and Politics Research in Europe: Towards a Consolidation of a Flourishing Political Science Subfield?

Petra Ahrens, Silvia Erzeel, Elizabeth Evans, Johanna Kantola, Roman Kuhar, Emanuela Lombardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Over the past twenty years, the field of “gender and politics” has flourished in European political science. An example of this is the growing number of “gender and politics” scholars and the increased attention paid to gender perspectives in the study of the political. Against this backdrop, we take stock of how the “gender and politics” field has developed over the years. We argue that the field has now entered a stage of “consolidation”, which is reflected in the growth, diversification and professionalization of the subfield, as well as in the increased disciplinary recognition from major gatekeepers in political science. But while consolidation comes with specific opportunities, it also presents some key challenges. We identify five such challenges: (1) the potential fragmentation of the field; (2) persisting hierarchies in knowledge production; (3) the continued marginalization of feminist political analysis in “mainstream” political science; (4) the changing link between academia and society; and (5) growing opposition to gender studies in parts of Europe and beyond. We argue that both the “gender and politics” field and political science in general should address these challenges in order to become a truly inclusive discipline.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105–122
Number of pages18
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Academic knowledge
  • Anti-gender movement
  • Gender
  • Intersectionality
  • Political science
  • Sexuality

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1


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