New European ‘strongmen’ are women, gender where similarities end

As the European Union (EU) prepares to vote for the next members of the European Parliament, experts anticipate significant gains for the far-right, populist parties.

Sociologist Mabel Berezin's work explores challenges to democratic cohesion and solidarity in Europe and the United States. She highlights the prominent women leading the right in the upcoming EU elections.

“Pundits and scholars expect the right to sweep the upcoming European Parliamentary elections," says Berezin, Distinguished Professor of Arts & Sciences in Sociology in the College of Arts & Sciences and Director of the Institute for European Studies.

“What has been less remarked upon is the prominence of women in these elections. Italy’s Giorgia Meloni and France’s Marine Le Pen will vie to lead the coalition of the right in Parliament," says Berezin. "Their common governance will not be easy. Le Pen views herself and her party as challengers. Meloni saves her conservative cultural and social politics for Italy. Both women are undisputed leaders in their respective countries. They have a different view of how to interact with the EU.

“If she manages to squeak through and be reelected, Ursula von der Leyen will continue serving as the president of the European Commission. She will be the chief mediator between the center right and right forces," Berezin says.

“In Italy, France and Germany – the new European ‘strongmen’ are women, but gender may be where the similarities end.”


More news

View all news
		Marine Le Pen in a short white dress facing the audience, standing at a podium that says "Viva24"