Open Societies? Connections between Women’s Activism, Globalization and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe

By Katalin Fábián.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

After the cloud of the Cold War lifted, a meaningful exchange of information about the political and social conditions in Eastern Europe emerged with new-found hope. Twenty years after the regime transformation, the dust may have settled enough after the dramatic change of guards in the postcommunist region to produce an account of how well democratization and diversity have fared, especially with gender perspective in mind.
Women’s issues in the postcommunist transitions became one of the most challenging issues in this exchange, in terms of both the practice and theory of democracy and diversity. The focus on women provides a much-needed dialogue across the historically entrenched lines of separation between East and West and communist times and contemporary democratization.
The lessons emerging from women’s activism in Central and Eastern Europe can provide a bridge between Western and Third World feminist analyses. Women’s groups increasingly enter into contact with various international organizations in their efforts to pressure governments and change popular perceptions of women’s status.

Keywords: Women’s Activism, Democracy, Central and Eastern Europe, Globalization, Transnational Social Movements

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 9, Issue 6, pp.119-130. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.156MB).

Dr. Katalin Fábián

Assistant Professor, Department of Government and Law, Lafayette College, Easton, PA, USA

A native of Hungary, Katalin Fábián (Ph.D., Political Science, Syracuse University) is Associate Professor of Government and Law at Lafayette College, Pennsylvania. She has published extensively on gender equality and women’s political activism in Central and Eastern Europe. She edited “Globalization: Perspectives From Central and Eastern Europe” published by Elsevier Press in 2007. She also served as the editor of a special issue of Canadian American Slavic Studies that focused on the changing international relations of Central and Eastern Europe. Her forthcoming book is “Contemporary Women’s Movements in Hungary: Globalization, Democracy, and Gender Equality” forthcoming in the fall of 2009 by the Johns Hopkins University Press and the Woodrow Wilson Center Press. She is currently conducting research on how domestic violence legislation has changed in the postcommunist European Union accession countries. Her second edited volume, “The Politics of Domestic Violence in Postcommunist States: Local Activism, National Policies, and Global Forces” will be published in 2010 by Indiana University Press.

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