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Gender, Party Politics, and Democracy in Europe: A Study of European Parliament’s Party Groups

The lecture is co-organized by the Amsterdam Research Centre for Gender and Sexuality (ARC-GS) and the Amsterdam Centre for European Studies (ACES).

European Parliament’s (EP) party groups are crucial to democratic representation in the EU. Yet much academic research about the party groups has been gender-blind. This talk introduces the research project EUGenDem, which provides a systematic analysis of the gendered policies and practices of European party politics. The research comprises a comparative study of the EP’s party groups and looks at the significance of gender in the current party political transformations in Europe. This talk also attends to a recent study about the gendered experiences of women MEPs from two Nordic countries, Denmark and Finland, based on interviews with MEPs about their perceptions of gender equality within the political groups. The findings illustrate that party groups exhibit some shared and some diversified gendered norms as well as concrete practices for advancing the position of women, including informal women’s networks. We draw attention to the shortcomings in m/paternity leave rights in the EP and the lack of political will within the party groups to tackle this.

About the Lecturer

Johanna Kantola is Professor of Gender Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Tampere University. She obtained her PhD in Politics at the University of Bristol in 2004 and became Docent in Politics at the University of Helsinki in 2007. She is the director of the ERC Consolidator Grant (2018-2023) funded research project Gender, party politics and democracy in Europe: A study of European Parliament’s party groups (EUGenDem). She is also the director of the Academy of Finland (2016-2020) funded research project Gender and Power in Reconfigured Corporatist Finland (GePoCo). Her books include Gender and Political Analysis (with Emanuela Lombardo, Palgrave, 2017), Gender and the European Union (Palgrave, 2010) and Feminists Theorize the State (Palgrave, 2006). She has co-edited The Oxford Handbook on Gender and Politics (Oxford University Press, 2013, with Georgina Waylen, Karen Celis and Laurel Weldon) and Gender and the Economic Crisis in Europe: Politics, Institutions and Intersectionality (Palgrave 2017, with Emanuela Lombardo). She is the Editor of Palgrave Macmillan’s Gender and Politics Book Series with Sarah Childs.


The event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required. The event will be followed by drinks.