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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.


Daddow, O., & Hertner, I. (2019). Interpreting toxic masculinity in political parties: A framework for analysis. Party Politics,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 17, 2019
Online Publication Date Nov 26, 2019
Publication Date Nov 26, 2019
Deposit Date Nov 8, 2019
Publicly Available Date Nov 26, 2019
Journal Party Politics
Print ISSN 1354-0688
Electronic ISSN 1460-3683
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords toxic masculinity; gender; AfD; Ukip; Nigel Farage
Public URL
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