Author: Valerie Sperling
Date Released: 1999
Page Count: 313
Isbn10 Code: 0521660173
Isbn13 Code: 9780511004841
Review "Valerie Sperling combines firsthand observation, revealing interviews, shrewd political analysis, and energetic prose to bring us a stirring account of struggles to organize women and defend their interests in a troubled country. The result is not only a close look at activism in Russia but also a distinctive contribution to comparative political studies." Charles Tilly, Columbia University "Too much Western analysis of civil society in the former Soviet Union has been casual and empirically thin. Valerie Sperling's rich study of Russian women's movements will push the whole discussion forward. She persuasively shows how organizational entrepreneurs have capitalized on their new freedom, but also how they have been held back by historical legacies and by their dependency on international sources of support." Tim Colton, Harvard University "Drawing on extensive interviews with women activists, Valerie Sperling provides a clear-eyed assessment and often poignant account of women's organizing in post-communist Russia. Her insightful analysis is a welcome addition to the literature, and her focus on women provides a unique window on the complex changes taking place in a country whose political future will affect us all." Jane Jaquette, Occidental College "...the book will be extremely useful for students of social movements in Russia and beyond." A. H. Koblitz, Choice "This well-researched volume stands out as one of the more comprehensive studies of women's activism during the transition period in Russia...rich in political detail...Organizing Women in Contemporary Russia makes a valuable contribution to the scholarship on civil society, social movements, and the gendered dimensions of politics and political activism in Russia. Written in clear and accessible prose, it should find a place in a wide spectrum of graduate and advanced undergraduate courses in political science. Russian and post-Soviet studies, sociology, and women's studies." Slavic Review "Sperling's monograph should prove of interest to many audiences....It sheds light on the role transnational advocacy plays in globalization processes. It provides valuable lesson for cross-national research on social movements, civil society, and voluntarism." American Journal of Sociology "This is a well-written and carefully research account of the activities of a particular set of Russian women's organizations in the 1990's...Lively and accessible style is successfully interwoven with interview excerpts to convey brilliantly the vitality of these organizations and the trials and tribulations faced by social movement in comtemporary Russia." American Political review "This valuable book will inform future discussion of these subjects. One hopes for a companion study of the current state of party politics in eastern Germany, where at least some of the findings might modify Padgett's conclusions." Comparative Politics "This is a solid and original scholarly contribution to three subfields, but Sperling has also written a highly readable book that should find wide adoption in a range of university courses in its paperback edition...Undergraduate students will learn much about social movements, contemporary Russian politics at the grassroots, and women in a book that is at once theoretical, substantive, and relevant." Governance "Sperling covers a great deal of ground and raises many relevant questions which activists in Russia and abroad will no doubt continue to grapple with for many years. Her analysis of the impact of foreogn funding on Russian women's organizations should be required reading for all agencies considering providing grant or aid money to Russia." Slavic and East European Journal Book Description This book offers a rich and clearly-written analysis of the women's movement in contemporary Russia. It tells the engaging story of the women's movement's formation and development in a country undergoing a radical economic and political transition from communist rule. Based on extensive interviews with the activists themselves, the book vividly documents the specific challenges facing women's groups in Russia, including: societal attitudes toward feminism; the difficulty of organizing in post-communist countries; and the ways that the international environment has affected the women's movement.
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