EU study to examine the rise of gender-critical politics

21 Oct 2022

Image: © Maxim/

The Resist study will investigate politics across Europe that seek to limit gendered freedoms and collaborate with organisations countering these politics.

A new study co-ordinated by University College Dublin (UCD) is looking into the development of gender-critical politics across Europe.

The Resist study will examine politics across the continent that seek to limit gendered freedoms, trans inclusion, multiculturalism, gender and sexual equality.

It will work with grassroots collectives and organisations in eight countries and will also involve people living in exile across Europe due to gender-critical politics.

The study will run for four years and is has received more than €4m in funding, with support from the EU, the UK and Switzerland. The project is part of Horizon Europe, which launched in 2021 as a follow-up to the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

The Resist study involves a consortium of 10 organisations across Europe, including Maynooth University. The project has co-investigators that work in gender and sexualities research across disciplines such as sociology, human geography, philosophy, gender studies and anthropology.

The project was formally launched in Dublin. The Resist project coordinator, UCD’s Prof Kath Browne, said it is a “big moment” in the consortium’s efforts to contest these gender-critical politics.

“The Resist project will explore the consequences these political developments have on lived experiences, freedom of speech, academic freedom, reproductive justice, and gender and sexual diversity in Europe,” Browne said.

Browne said “anti-gender movements” span across the political spectrum and are apparent not only in authoritarian regimes, but also in democracies “considered liberal and inclusive”.

“It is therefore important that we understand how these manifest – and also how they are resisted,” Browne said.

Maynooth’s Prof Gavan Titley will investigate political and media analysis for the study. Titley said Resist will map how gender-critical politics are expressed, collaborate with organisations countering these politics, generate key understandings and “share these with diverse stakeholders and social groups”.

The Resist project is being conducted in collaboration with universities in Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and the Feminist Autonomous Centre for research in Greece.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic