Sandra Håkansson

Department of Government, Uppsala University

Sandra Håkansson

Violence and Intimidation against Politicians: A Gendered Distribution of Risks and Costs of Political Participation

Violence and intimidation against politicians constitutes a severe democratic threat. Restricting politicians’ agency is not just a violation of the rights of the person who is targeted, but also of those who elected them – as well as all stakeholders of a well-functioning democracy. Political violence has commonly been studied at societal level and previous research has identified institutional factors that make societies fragile to violence. Since violence against politicians is often characterized by targeted attacks, my focus is instead on the individual level: who is selected as a victim of political violence?

There is increasing evidence that the risk of violence is unevenly distributed among women and men in politics. My thesis focuses on how and why gender matters for politicians’ exposure to political violence, and on the gendered impact of such violence. The empirical focus is on Sri Lanka and Sweden.