Gender, Politics, and the State in Central and Eastern Europe

CPS Research Fellow Andrea Krizsan and former CPS Research Fellow Raluca Maria Popa published an article in the The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies.


Countries in Central and Eastern Europe share the heritage of socialist projects of women's emancipation and a desire to join the European Union, but at the same time reveal significant political, social, and cultural diversity. This entry discusses gender and politics processes in Central and Eastern Europe over the twentieth century, through the lens of contemporary debates and trends in scholarship. Research cautions against the use of the regional as an unquestionable marker in the context of analyzing the politics of gender. At the same time, the intersection of gender and East/West inequalities remains a valid focus for feminist research. This entry highlights key policy polemics around several important gender policy issues and key silences around others. It looks at patterns of political participation of women and the presence of NGO-ized but increasingly maturing and independent women's movements. Debates about international influence and Europeanization as a motor for change are discussed, emphasizing the screening effect of domestic mediating factors that ultimately determine if adopted gender norms are effective or remain at a symbolic level.

Keywords: democratization; Eastern Europe; feminisms; governance; socialism

The article is available in the Wiley Online Library.