Published online by Cambridge University Press: 10 April 2018
This contribution to the Special Issue on Gender and Conservatism uses expert and election surveys to explore the extent to which the feminist or traditional gender ideology of parties of the right relates to their economic and liberal/authoritarian ideology. We show that although parties of the left generally espouse more feminist ideologies than parties of the right, there are a significant number of rightist parties in Western Europe that combine laissez-faire economic values with liberal feminist ideals. That said, there is more homogeneity among parties of the populist radical right than rightist parties more generally. We find that despite some variation in their gender ideology, parties of the populist radical right overwhelmingly—with the exception of one party in the Netherlands—continue to adopt traditional or antifeminist gender ideologies. In terms of attracting women voters, we find that rightist parties who adopt a feminist gender ideology are able to attract more women voters than other parties of the right. We detect several examples of center-right parties that include feminist elements in their gender ideologies and are able to win over larger proportions of women voters than rightist parties that fail to adopt feminist positions.
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