The Routledge Handbook of Gender in Central-Eastern Europe and Eurasia  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Gender in Central-Eastern Europe and Eurasia

ISBN 9781138347755
Published August 12, 2021 by Routledge
586 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This Handbook is the key reference for contemporary historical and political approaches to gender in Central-Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Leading scholars examine the region’s highly diverse politics, histories, cultures, ethnicities, and religions, and how these structures intersect with gender alongside class, sexuality, coloniality, and racism. Comprising 51 chapters, the Handbook is divided into six thematic parts:

Part I Conceptual debates and methodological differences

Part II Feminist and women’s movements cooperating and colliding

Part III Constructions of gender in different ideologies

Part IV Lived experiences of individuals in different regimes

Part V The ambiguous postcommunist transitions

Part VI Postcommunist policy issues

With a focus on defining debates, the collection considers how the shared experiences, especially communism, affect political forces’ organization of gender through a broad variety of topics including feminisms, ideology, violence, independence, regime transition, and public policy.

It is a foundational collection that will become invaluable to scholars and students across a range of disciplines including Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Central-Eastern European and Eurasian Studies.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Conceptual Debates and Methodological Differences


Janet Elise Johnson, Katalin Fábián, and Mara Lazda

The Development of the Field

Chapter 1: Between Regional and Transnational Contexts

Maria Bucur

Chapter 2: Fluidity or Clean Breaks?

Joanna Regulska and Zofia Włodarczyk

Chapter 3: Neoliberal Intervention: Analyzing the Drakulić–Funk–Ghodsee Debates

Eva Maria Hinterhuber and Gesine Fuchs


Chapter 4: Legacies of the Cold War and the Future of Gender in Feminist Histories of Socialism

Anna Krylova

Chapter 5: The Case and Comparative Methods

Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom

Chapter 6: Quantitative and Experimental Methods

Olga A. Avdeyeva and Nellie Bohac


Chapter 7: Postcoloniality in Central-Eastern Europe and Eurasia

Tatsiana Shchurko and Jennifer Suchland

Chapter 8: Post-Soviet Masculinities: Sex, Power, and the Vanishing Subject

Eliot Borenstein

Part 2 Feminist and Women’s Movements Cooperating and Colliding


Katalin Fábián, Mara Lazda, and Janet Elise Johnson

Women’s Organizing under Empires

Chapter 9: Challenging Tradition and Crossing Borders: Women’s Activism and Literary Modernism in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy

Agatha Schwartz

Chapter 10: The First All-Russian Women’s Congress: "The Women’s Parliament"

Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild

Socialist (Feminist) Interpretations

Chapter 11: The Russian Revolution and Women’s Liberation: Rethinking the Legacy of the Socialist Emancipation Project

Elena Gapova

Dissident Women and Feminisms

Chapter 12: Czechoslovak Feminisms during the Interwar Period

Iveta Jusová and Karla Huebner

Chapter 13: Women in Poland's Solidarity

Shana Penn

Postcommunist NGO Feminisms and Beyond

Chapter 14: From Soviet Feminism to the European Union: Transnational Women's Movements between East and West

Magdalena Grabowska

Chapter 15: Transnational Feminism and Women’s NGOs: The Case of the Network of East–West Women

Nanette Funk

Chapter 16: Contentions of Funding Gender Equality in Central-Eastern Europe

Jill Irvine

Chapter 17: Pussy Riot and FEMEN’s Global Trajectories in Law, Society, and Culture

Jessica Zychowicz and Nataliya Tchermalykh

Part 3 Constructions of Gender in Different Ideologies


Mara Lazda, Janet Elise Johnson, and Katalin Fábián


Chapter 18: Nationalism and Sexuality in Central-Eastern Europe

Anita Kurimay

Chapter 19: Gender, Militarism, and the Modern Nation in Soviet and Russian cultures

Karen Petrone


Chapter 20: Far-Right Expectations of Women in Central-Eastern Europe

Andrea Pető

Socialisms and Communisms

Chapter 21: Paradoxes of Gender in Soviet Communist Party Women's Sections (the Zhenotdel), 1918-1930

Elizabeth A. Wood

Chapter 22: Women’s Education, Entry to Paid Work, and Forced Unveiling in Soviet Central Asia

Yulia Gradskova

Chapter 23: "Gypsies"/Roma and the Politics of Reproduction in Post-Stalinist Central-Eastern Europe

Eszter Varsa

Chapter 24: Legalizing Queerness in Central-Eastern Europe

Judit Takács


Chapter 25: Gender and the Democratic Paradox in Latvia

Daina S. Eglitis, Marita Zitmane, and Laura Ardava-Āboliņa

Chapter 26: Anti-Gender Mobilization and Right-Wing Populism

Agnieszka Graff

Part 4 Lived Experience of the Individual in Different Regimes


Mara Lazda, Katalin Fábián, and Janet Elise Johnson

Empires and Monarchies

Chapter 27: Late Imperial Russia and Its Gendered Order in the Countryside

Christine D. Worobec

Chapter 28: Gendered Moral Panics in the Late Habsburg Monarchy: Prostitution, Sex Trafficking, and Venereal Disease

Nancy M. Wingfield


Chapter 29: The Promise of Gender Equality in Interwar Central-Eastern Europe

Melissa Feinberg

Nazism, Stalinism, and War

Chapter 30: Sexuality in the Holocaust

Anna Hájková

Chapter 31: Deportation and Gulag as Gendered Processes

Dovilė Budrytė

Socialisms and Communisms

Chapter 32: Yugoslav Gender Experiments and Soviet Influences

Ivan Simić

Chapter 33: Struggles to Reconcile Women's Wage Labor and Kitchen Labor in the German Democratic Republic

Alice Weinreb

Part 5 The Ambiguous Postcommunist Transitions


Janet Elise Johnson, Mara Lazda, and Katalin Fábián

Democratic and Economic Changes

Chapter 34: Gender and the Ambiguities of Economic Transition in Romania

Jill Massino

Chapter 35: Democratization, Authoritarianism, and Gender in Russia

Andrea Chandler


Chapter 36: Europeanization and the Challenge of Gender Equality

Andrea Spehar

Chapter 37: The Europeanization and Politicization of LGBT Rights in Serbia

Koen Slootmaeckers


Chapter 38: Russian-Speaking LGBTQ Communities in the West

Alexandra Novitskaya

Chapter 39: Postsocialist Migration and Intimacy

Alexia Bloch

Armed Conflict/Resolution

Chapter 40: The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the Development of Legal Frameworks on Violence against Women in Conflict

Belinda Cooper

Chapter 41: Gender, Conflict, and Social Change in Armenia and Azerbaijan

Sinéad Walsh

Part 6 Postcommunist Policy Issues


Katalin Fábián, Janet Elise Johnson, and Mara Lazda

Political Leadership

Chapter 42: Women’s Representation in Politics

Sharon Wolchik and Cristina Chiva

Gender-based Violence

Chapter 43: Hybrid Regimes and Gender Violence Prevention Campaigns in Ukraine

Alexandra Hrycak

Chapter 44: Bride Kidnapping and Polygynous Marriages: Gendered Debates in Central Asia

Cynthia Werner

Chapter 45: Trafficked Women and Men to and from Russia

Lauren A. McCarthy

Reproductive Rights

Chapter 46: Assisted Reproduction: Poland in a Comparative Perspective

Elżbieta Korolczuk

Chapter 47: Abortion and Reproductive Health in Eurasia: Continuity and Change

Cynthia Buckley

Social Policy and Health

Chapter 48: Single Mothers, Family Change, and Normalized Gender Crisis in Russia

Jennifer Utrata

Chapter 49 Social Welfare and Family Policies in Central-Eastern European Countries

Dorota Szelewa

Chapter 50: Women’s Representation in Sports

Honorata Jakubowska

Chapter 51: Gender, Sexuality, and Disability in Postsocialist Central-Eastern Europe

Teodor Mladenov


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Katalin Fábián is Professor of Government and Law at Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvaniam, USA. She edited Globalization: Perspectives from Central and Eastern Europe (2007) and served as the editor of the journal Canadian-American Slavic Studies that focused on the changing international relations of Central and Eastern Europe. Her book Contemporary Women’s Movements in Hungary: Globalization, Democracy, and Gender Equality (2009) analyzes the political significance of women’s activism in Hungary. She contributed chapters to and edited Domestic Violence in Postcommunist States: Local Activism, National Policies, and Global Forces (2010). With Ioana Vlad, she edited Democratization through Social Activism: Gender and Environmental Issues in Post-Communist Societies (2015). With Elżbieta Korolczuk, she edited and wrote chapters that appeared in Rebellious Parents: Parents’ Movements in Central-Eastern Europe and Russia (2017).

Janet Elise Johnson is Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, Bronx, USA. Her books include The Gender of Informal Politics (2018), Gender Violence in Russia (2009), and Living Gender after Communism (with Jean C. Robinson, 2007). In the last few years, she has published articles in Slavic Review, Human Rights Review, Journal of Social Policy Studies, Politics & Gender, Perspectives on Politics, Journal of Social Policy, and Aspasia: The International Yearbook of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Women's and Gender History as well as online in The New Yorker, The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage, and The Boston Review. From 2008–2019, she was one of the coordinators of the monthly workshop on Gender and Transformation: Women in Europe, at New York University.

Mara Lazda is Associate Professor of History at Bronx Community College, City University of Brooklyn, New York, USA. Her regional focus is on Latvia, with broader research interests on the intersections between gender, nationalism, and transnationalism in historical and contemporary contexts. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of Baltic Studies, the International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, and Nationalities Papers. She has served as the President of the Association of Baltic Studies (2014–2016), a coordinator of the Gender and Transformation: Women in Europe workshop at New York University, and an editor for Aspasia: The International Yearbook of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Women's and Gender History.


"The Routledge Handbook of Gender in Central-Eastern Europe and Eurasia is an invaluable resource for understanding the sometimes-heated debates which have animated global conversations about postsocialist, postcolonial, and post-Cold War studies over the last three decades. Fabian, Johnson, and Lazda have expertly curated an excellent selection of interdisciplinary chapters from a wide variety of preeminent scholars whose work collectively challenges the epistemic hegemony of Western feminist perspectives. The essays included provide fascinating intersectional analyses of how gender interacts with race, class, ethnicity, nationalism, and other factors to organize polities, economies, and societies. This Handbook is a must read for all scholars and policy makers interested in gender issues in the region." 

Kristen R. Ghodsee, Professor, Russian and East European Studies, University of Pennsylvania

"This timely and thorough reference collection is an essential guide to gender studies scholarship on postcommunist Europe and Eurasia. The editors gathered the highest caliber experts in the field to explicate the debates on gender in this diverse region, and to examine key topics, from methodology, to ideology, to intriguing empirical research on women’s organizing, everyday life, and gender-related policy before, during and after communist party rule. This engaging and comprehensive volume will be indispensable for anyone undertaking research on gender in the region, whether a novice or an advanced scholar long steeped in the subject. Rather than applying an "add women and stir" approach, the contributors examine the political, economic, social, cultural and legal systems that create and enforce gender norms, revealing the ineluctable centrality of gender to our understanding of politics."

Valerie Sperling, Professor of Political Science, Clark University, USA, author of Sex, Politics and Putin.

"What an extraordinary volume! At the time when the rights of women and the non-heteronormative people are under assault by the increasingly belligerent right-wing forces, a stellar cast of top researchers gives us a comprehensive overview of what needs to be known about gender in Central-Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Dozens of erudite chapters cover a lot of ground, ranging from useful reviews of theories, approaches and methods to illuminating historical studies and insightful dissections of cultural constructs and power constellations underpinning gender relations in these societies and elsewhere."

Jan Kubik, Professor, Department of Political Science, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA