Univ.-Ass. Dr. Eszter Kováts

Portrait photo of Eszter Kovats.

Photo source: private.


Neues Institutsgebäude
Universitätsstr. 7/2nd floor
Room: D 213
1010 Vienna
T: +43-1-4277-494 71
E-Mail: eszter.kovats@univie.ac.at

Office hour

After agreement


Courses: u:find

Short CV

Eszter Kováts studied German and French Studies, sociology and political science in Pécs, Szeged and Budapest. From 2009 to 2019 she was responsible for the East-Central European gender program of the political foundation Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Budapest. From 2016 to 2022 she did her PhD in Political Science at ELTE University, Budapest. From January to June 2020 she had a research grant at the Humboldt University in Berlin. In February 2022 she defended her dissertation with the title "Enemy image, hegemony and reflection – meaning and function of the concept of gender in the politics of the Orbán regime and the German radical right". Her dissertation was published as a book in Hungarian in September 2022. Since February 2023 she has been the assistant professor in the research area Politics and Gender at the Institute of Political Science.

Research interests

Feminist theory, gender equality policies, anti-gender movements, illiberal rights in Europe.


  • Kováts, Eszter (2022) Die „wahren Konservativen“ und kulturelle Hegemonie – Ideologische und diskursstrategische Verbindungen zwischen der Neuen Rechten in Deutschland und dem Orbán-Regime. In: Randgänge der Neuen Rechten – Philosophie, Minderheiten, Transnationalität (Hg. Vukadinović, Vojin Saša). 341–365.
  • Kováts, Eszter (2022) Sebastian Kurz hübrisze és az elbukott PVD-ambíció (Die Hybris von Sebastian Kurz und die gescheiterte plebiszitäre Führerdemokratie). In: Vezérdemokráciák a világban (Führerdemokratien in der Welt, Hg. Körösényi, András; Gyulai, Attila; Illés, Gábor), 57–77.
  • Kováts, Eszter (2022) Only ! know my gender – The individualist turn in gender theory and politics, and the right-wing opposition. In: Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics. 2022/2. 110–127.
  • Kováts, Eszter (2021) Anti-gender politics in East-Central Europe: Right-wing defiance to West-Eurocentrism. In: Gender. Zeitschrift für Geschlecht, Kultur und Gesellschaft. 76–90.
  • Kováts, Eszter; Zacharenko, Elena (2021) The right-wing opposition to ‘gender’ in the light of the ambiguity of the meaning of the term in EU documents. In: Politické vedy (Slovak Journal of Political Sciences), 2021/4. 56–82. https://doi.org/10.24040/politickevedy.2021.24.4.56-82
  • Fodor, Éva; Gregor, Anikó; Koltai, Júlia & Kováts, Eszter (2020) The impact of Covid-19 on the gender division of childcare work in Hungary. In: European Societies. 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1080/14616696.2020.1817522
  • Kováts, Eszter (2020) Post-Socialist Conditions and the Orbán Governments’ Gender Politics between 2010 and 2019 in Hungary. In: Right-Wing Populism and Gender. European Perspectives and Beyond.  (Hg. Dietze, Gabriele – Roth, Julia). Transcript Verlag. 81–108.
  • Kováts, Eszter (2019) Limits of the Human Rights Vocabulary in Addressing Inequalities – Dilemmas of Justice in the Age of Culture Wars in Hungary. Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics. Vol. 5. Nr 2. 60–80.
  • Gregor, Anikó; Kováts, Eszter (2019) Work – life: balance? Tensions between care and paid work in the lives of Hungarian women. In: socio.hu, Labour relations and employment policies in times of volatility: Special issue in English No. 7 (2019) December 2019. 91-115. socio.hu/uploads/files/2019eng_labour/2019eng_gregor_kovats.pdf
  • Kováts, Eszter (2018) Questioning Consensuses— Right-Wing Populism, Anti-Populism, and the Threat of ‘Gender Ideology’. Sociological Research Online, British Sociological Association. 1–11.
  • Kováts, Eszter (2017) The Emergence of Powerful Anti-Gender Movements in Europe and the Crisis of Liberal Democracy. In: Köttig, M; Bitzan, R; Pető, A (eds.) Gender and Far Right Politics in Europe. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 175–189.
  • Kováts, Eszter; Pető, Andrea (2017) Anti-Gender Discourse in Hungary: A Discourse without a Movement? In: Kuhar, Roman & Paternotte, David (eds.) Anti-Gender Campaigns in Europe. Mobilizing against Equality. Rowman & Littlefield. 117–131.
  • Grzebalska, Weronika; Kováts, Eszter; Pető, Andrea (2017) Gender as symbolic glue: how ‘gender’ became an umbrella term for the rejection of the (neo)liberal order. Political Critique. 13. Januar 2017. http://politicalcritique.org/long-read/2017/gender-as-symbolic-glue-how-gender-became-an-umbrella-term-for-the-rejection-of-the-neoliberal-order/ Deutsche Übersetzung: https://zeitschrift-luxemburg.de/artikel/gender-als-symbolischer-kitt/
  • Kováts, Eszter (Hg. 2017) The Future of the European Union – Feminist Perspectives from East-Central Europe. Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Budapest. http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/bueros/budapest/14210.pdf
  • Kováts, Eszter (Hg., 2016) Solidarity in Struggle – Feminist Perspectives on Neoliberalism in East-Central Europe. Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Budapest, http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/bueros/budapest/12796.pdf
  • Kováts, Eszter and Põim, Maari (Hg., 2015) Gender as symbolic glue. The position and role of conservative and far right parties in the anti-gender mobilizations in Europe. Foundation for European Progressive Studies und Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/bueros/budapest/11382.pdf