There is no end to speculation about what has driven the rise of the radical right over the past few years. Threaded through all the theories, however, is a single, agreed claim – that the far right is the domain of men. Angry white men populate media images. Scholars discuss men’s desire for strength, power, loyalty, belonging and the return to a romantic, pure and untroubled national past that can be restored through heroic male action. Policymakers report on uncertainty about jobs and rising unemployment as factors disproportionately affecting men.
However, there is reason to believe that male dominance of the far right is changing. Women play an increasing role in radical and far-right movements in ways that have largely been overlooked. Yet, as we argue in our recent book, Gender and the Radical and Extreme Right, attention to gender is critical for understanding the radical right.