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Janet Elise Johnson: The Gender of Informal Politics: Evidence from Russia and Iceland
April 7, 2016 @ 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
ARC Seminar: Janet Elise Johnson: The Gender of Informal Politics: Evidence from Russia and Iceland
Social scientists must re-conceptualize power to bring both informal politics and gender to the forefront. Scholars of post-Soviet hybrid regimes are innovatively theorizing the interplay between formal and informal institutions and networks. Feminist scholars have shown how these institutions and informal networks are often gendered. Based on in-depth fieldwork in the seemingly very different cases of Russia and Iceland, I show how the radical liberalization of the last four decades created a bait-and-switch. Constitutionalism and equality are promised at the same time that informal networks consolidated informal institutions that undercut these promises. With evidence of egregious sexism, homophobia and backroom deals in both cases, I develop a theory of gendered informal politics that is relevant to many places around the world.
Janet Elise Johnson is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Women’s Studies at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, and Visiting Scholar, Center for European and Mediterranean Studies, New York University. Her work focuses on the relationship between gender and politics, in connection to social movements, violence against women, democratization, and public policy, especially in postcommunist contexts. Her books include Gender Violence in Russia: The Politics of Feminist Intervention (2009) and Living Gender after Communism (edited with Jean C. Robinson, 2007). In the last few years, her journal articles have appeared in the Nationalities Papers, Politics & Gender, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, and Signs: Journals of Women in Culture and Society. She has also published pieces in The New Yorker blog and The Nation. Her current project investigates the impact of informal politics on women politicians, women’s/feminist movements, and gender equality policymaking, based on the cases of Russia and Iceland. She holds a BA from Duke University in Public Policy and a PhD in Political Science from Indiana University. – See more at: http://www.gc.cuny.edu/Public-Programming/Calendar/Detail?id=34715#sthash.4iMdvY3f.dpuf