This network welcomes researchers from all academic backgrounds interested in the field of political masculinities and men in politics. We hope to continue the interdisciplinary discussions on political masculinities held at conferences from 2012-2017 and a summer school in 2018. If you are interested in research related to these fields, conducting projects, organizing conferences or have recently published in this field, we would like to encourage you to share this on our website and join our databse of researchers. Contact:

Two-Day Workshop on

"Political Masculinities as an Analytical Category"

to be held online

17-18 June 2021


This workshop represents a novel attempt to bring together approaches to and understandings of "men in politics" and "political masculinities". We excpect substantial synergies from the dialogue between these two approaches - in which we can anchor the concept of "masculinity" as an analytical category and tool within the field of political analysis.

For a download of the CFP please go to the bottom of the page.


The keynote lectures are public. Please click on this link for registration (for free) or follow the links below:


Jeff Hearn: Reprising Political Masculinities: A simple idea or a case of too many ideas? 

Thursday June 17

10.00 – 11.00 CEST

In this talk, I focus on the analytical category of ‘political masculinities’. So, what are political masculinities? In discussing this, I consider: what counts as masculinity/ies, what counts as political, how do they connect? The connections are all too clear in much mainstream politics. The idea of political masculinities is also useful in analysis across social dimensions, from the psyche to body, interactions, institutions, representations, to the transnational and global. Perhaps more interesting still is thinking through political masculinities, and political men, to approach situations often seen as ‘less political’, even ‘non-political’. Such a perspective suggests that much depends on how political masculinities are placed in relation to further frames, such as anti-ageism, anti-racism and postcolonialism.

Jeff Hearn is Professor Emeritus at the Hanken School of Economics, Finland; Professor of Sociology at the University of Huddersfield, UK; Senior Professor of Gender Studies, Örebro University, Sweden; and Professor Extraordinarius at the Institute for Social and Health Studies, University of South Africa.

Register for this lecture here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

James Messerschmidt: Interrogating "Political Masculinities"

Thursday 17 June 

15.15 – 16.15 CEST 

Since Kathleen Starck and Birgit Sauer published their definition of “Political Masculinities” in 2014, I have thought much about this concept and if it makes sense to create a new masculine category labelled “political masculinities.” I was specifically asked by the Workshop organizers to evaluate the concept in terms of its usefulness as an analytical category and its relationship to other masculinities. In this keynote I will therefore closely interrogate the concept so as to optimistically raise useful questions for further dialogue.

James W. Messerschmidt is Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Southern Maine, USA.

Register for this lecture here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

James Messerschmidt (left) and Jeff Hearn 

Nikki van der Gaag: Can the Pandemic Reframe Patriarchy? A feminist take on power and political masculinities

Friday 18 June

12.00 -13.00 CEST

This talk will interrogate the concept of political masculinities from a feminist perspective. It will outline the views and perspectives of feminists from different eras and locations, and then move to contemporary times to look at how backlash against gender equality and women’s rights is playing out in the political arena in a number of countries. It will touch on the pandemic, and how it has reinforced patriarchal notions of power. And finally, it will look at how we might use the idea that masculinities are inherently political to challenge current patriarchal orthodoxies in order to build a more gender equal world.

Nikki van der Gaag is independent gender consultant and Senior Fellow Promundo. She is former Director of Gender Justice and Women’s Rights, Oxfam UK.

Register for this lecture here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Melody E. Valdini: Women who Represent Men: Preserving Political Masculinities Through Women Allies

Friday 18 June

17.00 – 18.00 CEST

In the early years of women’s presence in the political sphere, women in office shared many traits. No matter their party, these women were pathbreakers and (often quiet) feminists focused on increasing women’s equality. In recent years, however, elected women’s personalities and priorities have greatly diversified. Thus, it may be time to reconsider our expectations of the consequences of women’s representation. In this keynote, I consider the impact of the continuing norm of masculine practices and structures on the type of women who come to power, and I suggest that there is a potential for men to facilitate the rise of women who see the value (political or otherwise) of maintaining the power of political masculinities.

Melody E. Valdini is Professor and Chair of the Political Science Dept at Portland State University, USA.

Register for this lecture here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.




Elin Bjarnegård (Uppsala University, Sweden/Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences )

Rainbow Murray (Queen Mary University of London, UK)

Russell Luyt (University of Greenwich, UK)

Kathleen Starck (University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany)








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