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“FIERCE - Feminist movements revitalizing Democracy in Europe“ is the title of an upcoming research project hosted at Department of Politics and Society AAU.

New project - Feminist movements revitalizing Democracy in Europe

“FIERCE - Feminist movements revitalizing Democracy in Europe“ is the title of an upcoming research project hosted at Department of Politics and Society AAU.

Last modified: 01.04.2022

Text: Niels Krogh Søndergaard, communications officer
Photo: Duncan Shaffer, Unsplash

Associate Professors Susi Meret from REGIS - Research Group on ‘Regional and International Studies and Lise Rolandsen Agustin from FREIA - Center for Gender Research - are the Academic Coordinators and participants of a new Horizon Europe-project about feminism, anti-feminism and democracy.

The title of the projects is FIERCE - Feminist movements revitalizing Democracy in Europe.

The project aims at providing sound theoretical and practical knowledge and tools to revitalize alliances between feminist movements, civil society and political decision-makers in a context of growing social inequalities, political disaffection and strengthening of populist radical right and anti-gender actors, movements and discourses. 

With FIERCE the scientists aim to develop an in-depth understanding of feminist and anti-feminist/anti-gender movements, activities and discourses, and their impact on the institutional arena and on policy outcomes, focusing on the period 2010-2021. 

Five areas of interest

These actors, and especially the feminist movements, will be studied through framing, political ethnography, and Social Network Analysis on the background of key gender debates and controversies, prefigured to be situated in the areas of: 

  • Labour market
  • Health and reproductive rights
  • LGBTQ+ rights
  • Migration
  • Gender-based violence

FIERCE will cover eight case studies (France, Italy, Greece, Slovenia, Turkey, Denmark, Poland, Spain) representing a wide variety of country contexts in socio-political, geographical and welfare terms. 

Co-creation with civil society

The researchers will move beyond a country based approach and provide a cross-cutting comparative analysis of the way debates and controversies on gender have influenced the dynamics and output of the policy process. This will happen by investing on co-creation methods and on a strong alliance with civil society organisations,

FIERCE will propose pilot actions that can reinvigorate democratic practices, in line with feminist inclusive visions for the future of democracy. FIERCE thereby sets out a bottom-up, problem-driven and impact-oriented approach, bridging academic knowledge, policy-making and bottom-up democratic strategies.

The project is funded by a Horizon Europe IRA grant that amounts to 2,49 million euro and is a cooperation between Aalborg University, Vilabs, Smart Venice SRL, Scuola Normale Superiore, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Alternatives Europeennes, Uniwersytet Gdanski, Aristotelio Panepistimio Thessalonikis, Mirovni Institut, Koc University, Univerza V Ljubljani.

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