Neoliberal transformations, the restructuring of the Austrian welfare state and precarious working conditions are used as explaining factors for the growth and/or emergence of authoritarian right-wing populist parties and their success in mobilizing fear and hate against migrants and Muslims. Hence, struggles around class are seen as important factors for understanding the authoritarian radical right. My talk wants to shed light on the transformations of the Austrian gender regime especially, i.e. a strong male breadwinner regime, and on struggles around gender in mobilization strategies of right-wing actors. The talk will conceptualize right-wingers’ anti-gender ideology as a building block of a “masculinist identity politics” and of a struggle for a new political hegemony (against, e.g., liberal democracy). The overall question of the talk is, thus, if and how social relations such as gender can be included in an approach to understand authoritarian right-wing populists and their anti-democratic and anti-equality politics.
Birgit Sauer is professor of political science at the University of Vienna. From 2014 to 2018 she was speaker of the Research Network „Gender and Agency“ at the University of Vienna. She was member of several EU research projects, including projects on violence against women, gender, migration and religion, gender and right-wing populism. She conducted research projects on affective state transformation. Her research fields include comparative gender equality policies, right-wing populism and racism, democracy and politics of emotions and affects. Recent publications include: Affektives Kapital. Die Ökonomisierung der Gefühle im Arbeitsleben, Frankfurt/M./New York: Campus, 2016, together with Otto Penz; Gendering ,,the people”: heteronormativity and ,,ethno-masochism” in populist imaginary, in: Raniera, Maria (Hg.), Populism, Media and Education. Challenging discrimination in contemporary digital societies, London/New York (Routledge), 2016 (together with Stefanie Mayer und Iztok Sori), 84-104.