From Aleksanteri-lista:

Dr. Suvi Salmenniemi has published a new book about Russia Democratization and Gender in Contemporary Russia

Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies

This book examines civic activism, democratization and gender in
contemporary Russia. It describes the character and central organizing
principles of Russian civic life, considering how it has developed since
the Soviet period, and analysing the goals and identities of important
civic groups -- including trade unions -- and the meanings they have
acquired in the context of wider Russian society. In particular, it
investigates the gender dimensions of socio-political participation in
Russia, considering what kinds of gendered meanings are given to civic
organizations and formal politics, and how femininity and masculinity are
represented in this context. It explores the role of state institutions in
the development of democratic civic life, showing how, under the
increasingly authoritarian Putin regime and its policy of 'managed
democracy', independent civic activism is both thriving yet at the same
time constrained. Based on extensive fieldwork research, it provides much
needed information on how Russians themselves view these developments, from
the perspective of both civic activists and of the local authorities.


1. Introduction
2. Patterns of Civic Activity in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia
3. Gender in Socio-Political Activity: Power, Participation and Agency
4. Action and Affective Ties: Identity Formation of the Center for Women’s
History and Gender Studies
5. The Weakness of Collective Identity: Trade Union of Health Care Workers
6. Redefining Citizenship: Views of the Authorities
7. Collaboration and Contestation: Views of the Activists
8. Conclusion


"Dr Salmenniemi has produced a compelling, multi-faceted portrait of civic
activism in provincial Russia, and an original account of the gender
dimensions of civic participation. It should be read by all those
interested in the development of civil society in Russia."

Sarah Ashwin, London School of Economics and Political Science

"Suvi Salmenniemi spent seven months in the city of Tver' and as a result
she wrote this highly qualified scholarly work based on anthropological
study of a segment of the Russian civil society. This book is a major
achievement in two research fields: the study of the Russian civil society
and the study of the Russian gender order. In both cases we see tensions
between new and old discourses, an overlapping of traditional and novel
repertoires and focuses on localized and personalized democratic
innovations. This superb study reveals gendered dimensions of civic
activism, explaining how traditional gender ideologies can justify public
participation of Russian women."

Elena Zdravomyslova, European University at St. Petersburg

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