Women in Power in Post-Communist Parliaments

Women in Power in Post-Communist Parliaments

Edited by Maryilyn Rueschemeyer and Sharon L Wolchik
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 08/31/2009
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-22169-8
Bookmark and Share
Buy from Amazon


Women in Power in Post-Communist Parliaments examines the life and work of women who have reached positions of political power after the end of communism in Europe. It explores the roles they have adopted, the relationships they have cultivated, and the agendas they have pursued. Much of the literature on women in post-Communist states has focused on one or two countries. This volume treats the issues comparatively, in six countries—the Czech Republic, Germany (with a focus on the former GDR), Slovenia, Bulgaria, Poland, and Russia. It also includes interviews with and written statements by the very "women in power" discussed in the first half of the book, giving voice to their common and divergent experiences as political actors within an environment of stormy economies and new foreign engagements, particularly with the European Union.

Author Bio

Marilyn Rueschemeyer is Professor Emerita of Sociology at the Rhode Island School of Design and currently chairs the European Politics Series at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies. Her books include Professional Work and Marriage: An East-West Comparison and Women in the Politics of Postcommunist Eastern Europe.

Sharon L. Wolchik is Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University. She is author of Czechoslovakia in Transition: Politics, Economics, and Society and editor (with James R. Millar) of The Social Legacy of Communism.


“Examines the life and work of women who have reached positions of political power after the end of communism in Europe, exploring the roles they have adopted, the relationships they have cultivated, and the agendas they have pursued. ”

“This is a highly generative and coherent piece of scholarship. . . . The most important cross-national comparative book to date on the role of women in post-communist politics.”
 — Mitchell A. Orenstein, Johns Hopkins University

“Women in Power gives us a more personal lens to understand the ways in which the parliaments, as well as the women who have made it into the houses, have adjusted to the new cultures and mandates of the post-communist world.”
 — Jean Robinson, Indiana University Bloomington

“[T]his is a well-researched and well-organized volume. It should be standard reading for both scholars interested in woman politicians generally and post-Communist politics in particular. Its importance lies in the questions that it raises, perhaps more so than the answers it provides. 69.3, July 2010”
 — The Russian Review

“By not focusing on the post-communist superstar, this book draws a nuanced picture of the various women serving as members of parliament in the post-communist era. ... As the women describe their routes to parliament and their work there, they create an account of their experiences with and in power that is comparable to those of women in the West.”
 — Elisheva Zakheim, Feminist Review

“[This] book provides genuinely interesting and legible data and analyses that inform us – both in a comparative sense, and by giving voice to individual actors – on the subject of women’s pervasive and persistent inequality in the sphere of high politics.”
 — Canadian — American Slavic Studies

“[T]his edited volume is an important addition to the comparative literature on women in politics. It helps illuminate gender politics in an important, unique, and understudied region. . . . Overall, this niche-filling book is a welcome addition to the libraries of both political sociologists and gender scholars. It is a valuable resource, whether used for reference or instruction. ”
 — Contemporary Sociology

“Unlike so many other edited works, with its succinct and suitable introduction and conclusion, Rueschemeyer and Wolchik's study manages to bring these contributions into a valuable and united whole. . . . This volume is a valuable addition for students of gender politics, as well as of those of post-Communist Central and East Central European cultures and societies. ”
 — H-SAE, H-Net Reviews

“The volume fills an important scholarly gap by examining transitions in the political, economic, and social spheres of the postcommunist world. . . . [A] real empirical contribution to the study of women in power.”
 — Slavic Review

Customer Reviews

There are currently no reviews
Write a review on this title.

Table of Contents

I Introduction
Marilyn Rueschemeyer and Sharon L. Wolchik


II Women in the Russian Duma
Linda J. Cook and Carol Nechemias

III Is There a Women’s Lobby in the Polish Parliament: Progress and Current Difficulties
Renata Siemienska

IV Women in the Slovene Parliament: Working toward a Critical Mass
Milica Antic Gaber

V Women in Power in the Czech Republic: Problems and Prospects
Sharon L. Wolchik

VI East German Women in the Unified German Parliament
Marilyn Rueschemeyer

VII Reflections on the Return of the King: Women in the
Bulgarian Parliament
Karen Ghodsee


VIII Conversations with Russian Parliamentarians
Linda J. Cook and Carol Nechemias

IX The Perspective of the Head of the Parliamentary Women’s Group:
Senator Dorota Kempka Speaks with Agnieszka Majcher

X A Specialist in Culture in the Slovene Parliament
Majda Sirca

XI Negotiating the Czech Parliament
Anna Curdova

XII From the German Democratic Republic to the European Parliament
Constanze Krehl

XIII Entering the Bulgarian Parliament
Kina Andreeva

XIV Conclusion
Marilyn Rueschemeyer and Sharon L. Wolchik

Selected Bibliography

About the Authors

Related Titles