Another progressive’s dilemma: Immigration, the radical right & threats to gender equality

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Immigration and the diversity it brings have led to the emergence of the “progres-sive’s dilemma” whereby open societies that take in immigrant outsiders may find it difficult to maintain the solidarity required to sustain the welfare state. In this essay, I address another progressive’s dilemma: Focusing on the case of Western Europe, I argue that when open borders give rise to radical-right parties, immigration can inadvertently also endanger progressive achievements in gender equality. Though xenophobic policies frequently constitute their core message and the primary source of their appeal, radical-right parties are also defenders of traditional family values and outspoken critics of measures that promote the economic and political advancement of women. Moreover, the composition of these parties, both in terms of voters and politicians, is disproportionately male. As a result, when radical-right, anti-immigrant parties enter national parliaments, the descriptive and substantive representation of women suffers, sometimes reversing long-held gains in gender equality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-71
Number of pages16
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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