Dr. Benjamin Höhne is a DAAD/AICGS Research Fellow from April through July 2022. He is Deputy Director of the Institute for Parliamentary Research in Berlin. He has worked as Research Associate or Associate Lecturer at various universities in Germany, most recently at the Free University of Berlin. His main teaching and research area is political parties. His current research focuses on populism and the representation of women in parliaments. His dissertation at the University of Trier on the recruitment of candidates for EU elections was awarded the German Bundestag’s Science Award. He is active in scientific and political consulting, especially as an expert for state parliaments, ministries as well as institutions for political education. He regularly gives interviews for international media.
At AICGS, Dr. Höhne will research anti-feminism in the rhetoric of populist radical right (PRR) female leaders in Germany and the United States. His comparative research project focuses on the ways female leaders of the radical right in Germany and the United States communicate anti-feminism. Its relevance stems from the assumption that this topic, particularly in combination with female protagonists, plays an essential role in mobilizing supporters and winning votes. Questions about the meaning and functions of anti-feminist rhetoric will be raised at several levels: 1. personal (impact on the protagonists themselves), 2. organizational (e.g., bridging party and collateral movements), and 3. societal/electoral (e.g., effects on public discourses and elections).
In the empirical analysis, the anti-feminist political communication of PRR female leaders in both countries will be compared and examined for possible similarities that appear to be systematic rather than coincidental. Primary empirical sources are in-depth interviews with MPs as well as their parliamentary and party congress speeches. Secondary sources include their social media content, media articles, and conversations with scholars working on the gender dimension of PRR parties. The findings on anti-feminism in right-wing parties will hopefully lead to a better understanding of a crucial phenomenon in contemporary politics.