Rachel Fisher is pursuing her PhD in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on comparative politics and political behavior, including candidate ambition and recruitment, international development, and policy evaluation. She employs experimental methods to study gender differences in political participation.
Fisher is the recipient of the 2021 IIS Simpson Research Grant.
Across the globe, conservative and religious extremism is on the rise. From far-right and white supremacist paramilitaries to Islamist and Salafi-jihadist organizations, these fringe groups are increasingly influencing mainstream politics. Concurrently, politicians and party elites enter into alliances with these extremist networks and instrumentally use religion to garner support among constituents in Islamic and Western contexts. Religious symbols, practices, and legislation––once a rarity––are gradually becoming ubiquitous in some states. These sociopolitical shifts are particularly visible for women including issues on veiling, chaperones, and polygyny in Islamic contexts. I examine how political entrepreneurs use religion to strategically mobilize women in the case of Indonesia. I further investigate how women respond to such efforts.