Final Project Conference

In the final year of the project we will be organizing the international conference:

European Politics, Equality, and Democracy

25-26 May 2023

University of Helsinki

How can we make European political institutions and policies more democratic and equal? What methods, concepts, and theories are needed to study them? To answer these questions, the conference brings together scholars working on key issues for democracy and equality in European politics today. The aim is to explore the power structures, actors, and dynamics shaping European democracy today. Topics range from political legitimacy, democratic practices and policy-making of European political institutions, to the impact of radical right populism and anti-gender backlash, and to promoting gender equality, anti-racism, and LGBTQI rights in European societies and politics. The conference explores how EU governance and the knowledge underpinning it is constructed and implemented, and with what outcomes.

The conference forges a dialogue between scholars across different disciplines and approaches bringing together EU studies, gender and politics, political science, and social scientists more broadly. The conference is organised around two keynote sessions, four plenary panels, and panel sessions with papers selected in an open call.

Keynote session 1: Challenges to European democracy and integration   

Natasha Wunsch (Sciences Po, CEE & ETH Zurich): “European integration in the shadow of democratic backsliding”

Elżbieta Korolczuk (Södertörn University & University of Warsaw): “Right-wing populism and (anti)gender politics in Europe”

Keynote session 2: European Parliament in turbulent times   

Nathalie Brack (UL Brussels): “The challenge of the Populist Radical Right in the European Parliament”

Johanna Kantola (University of Helsinki): “Gender, power, and democracy in European Parliament’s political groups”


Plenary panels:
1. Critical perspectives on the informal in parliamentary politics

Jennifer Piscopo (Occidental College): “Gender and Informal Networks: Lessons from Women’s Strategies for Power and Change in the Americas”

Georgina Waylen (University of Manchester): “Informal institutions in parliamentary politics: Gender, power and change”

Laura Landorff (Lund University): “Intergroups in the European Parliament: Exclusive Arenas for Informal Civil Society Deliberation?”

Lenita Freidenvall (Stockholm University) and Sonia Palmieri (Australian National University): “The new norm? Reflections on twenty years of gender sensitising parliaments”

2. Governance and knowledge for equality and democracy 

Ben Crum (VU Amsterdam): “Democratizing Economic Governance in the European Union”

Stefanie Wöhl (University of Applied Sciences BFI Vienna): “Gendered International Political Economy Perspectives on Economic Governance in the European Union – Taking Social Reproduction serious”

Paul Copeland (Queen Mary University of London): ​​”A step-change in EU anti-poverty policy? Evaluating recent developments”

Anna Elomäki (Tampere University): “Transformative or ambiguous actor? Where does the European Parliament stand in terms of EU socio-economic governance”

3. Equality policies in the European Union

Iyiola Solanke (University of Leeds): “Protection from Intersectional Discrimination in EU Law – time for effective action?”

Petra Ahrens (Tampere University): “Gender mainstreaming in the EU policy framework and strategies in the European Parliament”

Amandine Le Bellec (Sciences Po Paris): “Shifting equality policies from the margins. The Common European Asylum System and the making of LGBTI rights in the EU”

Serena D’Agostino (VU Brussels): “Intersectional Discrimination and Romani Women’s Rights in Europe: Pushing the Equ(al)ity Boundaries”

4. Parliamentary and legislative ethnography: Gender, democracy, and practice

Nadia Brown (Georgetown University):Doing Ethnographic Research as a Black Woman on Black Women Political Elites”

Jonathan Chibois (Laboratory of Political Anthropology, EHESS, CNRS): “Doing fieldwork in centres of power: the case of deliberative assemblies”

Cherry Miller (University of Glasgow): “From Westminster to Brussels: Putting the ‘Parliament’ in Parliamentary Ethnography”

Sandrine Roginsky (Catholic University Louvain): “A decade of ethnography of the European Parliament: an evolution in the forms of legitimacy construction?”


The conference also includes 19 parallel panels. The full program can be found here.

You can register to participate until 31 March 2023. There is no conference fee. Further details and the registration link are available on the conference website.

Contact: Research Assistant Ansa Ahola,