The child as cipher for a politics of ‘traditional values’ in the anti-gender movement: A comparative study of Russia and Germany
About the project
The recent rise of illiberal, conservative and right-wing populist movements poses an acute threat to democracy and equality in Europe. One pervasive but underresearched strand of these movements advocates ‘traditional family values’, in particular conservative sexual and gender politics, in the name of protecting children.
The project will fill this research gap through interdisciplinary research examining the discursive construction of the child as the ultimate site of vulnerability and risk, and hence in need of protection and policy intervention. The irrational or affective component of such discourses calls for an approach capable of accounting for their emotive force or ‘grip’. This proposal aims to develop such an approach, combining insights and methodology from political discourse theory, media studies and psychosocial studies. The research is characterised by a significant comparative dimension, analysing discourses by conservative, ‘pro-traditional family values’ actors, from politicians to activists, in Germany and Russia.