Skip to main content

Research Repository

See what's under the surface

Interpreting Toxic Masculinity in Political Parties: A Framework for Analysis

Daddow, Oliver; Hertner, Isabelle


Oliver Daddow

Isabelle Hertner


The term ‘toxic masculinity’ was coined in the 1990s by sociologists and psychologists. It has since been appropriated by scholars and commentators interested in gendered behaviours and outcomes in politics. However, despite the attention belatedly being paid to masculinities as part of that research, our appreciation of, specifically, toxic masculinity’s part in shaping political practices remains underdeveloped. This article proposes a move in this direction by designing a conceptual framework for exploring toxic masculinity inside political parties. We adapt findings from the original toxic masculinity literature to generate a series of indicators of toxic masculinity spanning the policy and discursive aspects of party political action. We then test the framework using a paired comparison of two parties of the populist right where we might expect to see relatively high levels of toxic masculinity: the Alternative for Germany and the UK Independence Party. Our empirical findings give us confidence that drawing on the concept of toxic masculinity can provide us with novel insights into the interplay between masculinity and political party cultures. We also hope that it will inspire a significant body of new research into toxic masculinity in political parties from across the party spectrum as well as globally.

Journal Article Type Article
Print ISSN 1354-0688
Electronic ISSN 1460-3683
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Institution Citation Daddow, O., & Hertner, I. (in press). Interpreting Toxic Masculinity in Political Parties: A Framework for Analysis. Party Politics,
Keywords toxic masculinity; gender; AfD; Ukip; Nigel Farage

This file is under embargo due to copyright reasons.

Downloadable Citations