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Photo Milka Ivanovska Hadjievska

Milka Ivanovska Hadjievska

Postdoctoral Fellow

Photo Milka Ivanovska Hadjievska

Civil society elites’ challengers in the UK: A frontlash/backlash perspective


  • Milka Ivanovska Hadjievska

Summary, in English

Amid growing polarisation in European societies, civil society elites, encompassing resource-rich, influential and often liberal-oriented civil society organisations (CSOs), are under increased attacks by conservative and progressive actors alike. This article aims to understand who challenges civil society elites, on what grounds, and with what means do they do so in the United Kingdom, by drawing on the cultural theory of frontlash/backlash. The article portrays two ideologically opposed challengers: one coming from within the charity sector in the form of the #CharitySoWhite campaign and another from outside the charity sector led by Conservative MPs, the Common Sense group. While these two challengers are not directly connected, they are part of the broader frontlash/backlash dynamic polarising public debates, with spillover effects in civil society. By applying a frontlash/backlash perspective, the article puts an emphasis on cultural cleavages as one of the central sources of polarisation in the civil space.


  • Department of Political Science

Publishing year





British Journal of Politics and International Relations

Document type

Journal article




  • Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)




  • Civil society elites? Comparing elite composition, reproduction, integration and contestation in European civil societies


  • ISSN: 1369-1481