DPIR alumna Dr Leandra Bias wins award for doctoral dissertation on backlash against “gender ideology”

Dr Leandra Bias (DPhil Politics, 2013) has been named joint winner of the European Consortium for Political Research’s (ECPR) 2023 Joni Lovenduski PhD Prize in Gender and Politics for her doctoral dissertation 'The (im)possibility of feminist critique in authoritarianism: Revisiting Western knowledge-transfer in Russia and Serbia'

The Prize is awarded biennially for an outstanding PhD dissertation in the field of gender and politics, including gender and/or sexuality studies perspectives in political science, international relations, political philosophy, public policy and public administration.

Dr Bias is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Political Science at the University of Bern and research affiliate with the Centre for East European and international Studies (ZOiS) in Berlin.

Her prize-winning dissertation explores how the backlash against "gender ideology" is instrumental for authoritarian regimes and how it impacts feminist resistance, nationally and internationally.

She shares the prize with Cecilia Josefsson, awarded for her dissertation ‘Adaptive Resistance: Power Struggles over Gender Quotas in Uruguay’ completed at Uppsala University.

Of Dr Bias’s work, judges remarked that: ‘Leandra Bias makes a strong empirical and theoretical contribution with her work [...] The writing is extremely reflexive, and thoughtful regarding the positionality of both Russian and Serbian feminists in relation to both state powers and critical theory on knowledge exchange.’

I learnt about the award as I was reading the news about the Kakhovka dam breaking and feeling once again overwhelmed with the injustice. It was this feeling after Russia's full-scale invasion that pulled me back to academia in 2022.

The wish to try and make a contribution through research and communicating often overlooked feminist approaches to and findings in political science to a wider public. This validation from such a respected jury thus gave me a meaningful confirmation of my choice.

Dr Leandra Bias

Dr Bias’s dissertation was also awarded an honourable mention in November 2021 by the Swiss Association for Gender Studies (SAGS).

ECPR was established in 1970 and is the leading European academic association with a goal to advance political science.