Gender and Far-Right Ideology w/ Elizabeth Pearson
A joint Live Briefing on “Gender Ideology and Far-right ideology”.
Two keynote speakers, Dr. Eviane Leidig and Dr. Elizabeth Pearson will compare the role of gender in recruitment and radicalisation narratives of extremist activism, including concepts of femininity and masculinity, misogyny, and patriarchy as integral to the ideological worldview and mobilisation of these activists.
Dr. Eviane Leidig recently published the book The Women of the Far Right: Social Media Influencers and Online Radicalization (Columbia University Press, 2023). An in-depth look into the world of far-right women influencers, exploring the digital lives they cultivate as they seek new recruits for white nationalism.
While Dr. Elizabeth Pearson’s book Extreme Britain: Gender, Masculinity, and Radicalisation (Hurst/Oxford University Press, 2023) is published in December. Drawing on interviews with extremists, this timely study explores the relationship between gendered culture and political radicalism, with a focus on Britain
The Women of the Far Right and Extreme Britain offer insights into how men and women become involved in extreme movements and the consequent implications of featuring gender within de-radicalisation efforts and countering extremism interventions.
Moderator: Thomas Renard, Director ICCT and Senior Associate Fellow at the Egmont Institute.
About the speakers
Eviane Leidig, Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral fellow at Tilburg University. She is an ICCT Associate Fellow and former Research Fellow in the Current and Emerging Threats programme. She is also affiliated with the Center for Research on Extremism at the University of Oslo, and the Global Network on Extremism and Technology in London. Eviane is the author of the book The Women of the Far Right, recently published by Columbia University Press.
Elizabeth Pearson, lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London, where she leads the Master’s programme in terrorism and counter-terrorism studies. She is an Associate Fellow at ICCT, and a member of the Editorial Board at Perspectives on Terrorism. Her research centres on gender, extremism and countering extremism and her new book, Extreme Britain: Gender, Masculinity and Radicalisation was recently published with Hurst and Oxford University Press.
About the book
Drawing on interviews with extremists, this timely study explores the relationship between gendered culture and political radicalism in a polarised Britain.
Misogyny and ‘toxic masculinity’ are increasingly implicated in radicalisation. From the men’s incel (‘involuntary celibate’) movement online, to jihadist groups like Islamic State, to radical right ‘Free Speech’ protests —radicalisation spans ideologies. Though an often-used term, the process of radicalisation is not well understood, and the role of gender and masculinities has often been ignored. This book uses primary research among two of Britain’s key extremist movements: the banned Islamist group al-Muhajiroun, and those networked to it; and the anti-Islam radical right, including the English Defence League and Britain First, to reveal radicalisation as a masculinity project.
Through interviews with leaders including Anjem Choudary, Jayda Fransen and Tommy Robinson, as well as their followers, Extreme Britain explores the emergence of extreme misogyny and masculinities. Pearson situates extreme identities in wider social norms, showing how masculinities are mobilised into action. The book cautions against oversimplifying extreme masculinity as ‘toxic’. It demonstrates how both men and women ‘do’ extreme masculinities and the costs and benefits to them both of activism.
Understanding the men and women involved in extreme movements will better equip us to counter them. This fascinating study offers invaluable insight into some of their lives and motivations.RSVP