This paper analyzes how illiberal far-right parties employ discourses of traditional family values to advocate a range of anti-feminist, anti-queer, and anti-sexual education stances that have become critical in European national politics. Illiberal politicians use the concept of "traditional family" to reassert heteronormative ideas of gender and sexuality that advance their majoritarian, nationalist, and anti-pluralist platforms while infringing on the rights and freedoms of gender and sexual minorities. I explore three realms where this family-centered rhetoric presents itself in policy and political movements—gender roles and reproduction, LGBTQ+ rights, and sexual education—and analyze relevant actors, movements, and policies demonstrating the central role of anti-gender discourse in amassing illiberal support. Two case studies, Italy and Poland, illustrate how anti-gender rhetoric and family-centered discourse are at the core of the party platforms of two of Europe's most illiberal governments, and are central to their expressed ideals of national identity.
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Hall, Julia E.
"The Family and the Nation: The Centrality of Gender Politics in the Rise of European Illiberalism,"
Claremont-UC Undergraduate Research Conference on the European Union:
Vol. 2023, Article 10.
Available at: https://scholarship.claremont.edu/urceu/vol2023/iss1/10