Two decades after transition to democracy, countries in the Central Eastern European region are now experiencing democratic backsliding. De-democratization processes not only challenge democratic institutions but can also be seen as a form of cultural backlash against social and political changes that took place during the last decades. Gender and sexual orientation based equality is particularly hit: the cultural backlash translates to gendered processes of de-democratization. Attacks on gender equality and against actors standing for it are particularly widespread in countries of the Central and Eastern European region. This book aims to map gendered aspects of the decline in democracy in four countries in the Central and Eastern European region: Croatia, Hungary, Poland and Romania. We have a dual focus. First, we look at how processes of de-democratization affect previously established gender equality rights and what forms gender policy backsliding takes in the region. We are interested in learning how governments operate to block or reverse gender equality policies and what specific policy fields or issues are most under attack. Are policies actively removed or do we see more subtle dismantling strategies? Also, we ask if these dynamics and mechanisms are country specific or whether we can find similar patterns across countries? Second, we look at how these developments affect defenders and promotors of gender rights. How do women movements respond to these attacks? Do they change strategies? Do they falter in hostile conditions or we see resistance, maturing, diversifying coalition capacities? What do the anti-gender attacks and hostile states mean for movement capacities and strategies? Introduction provides a conceptual framework for the analysis. Separate chapters discuss gendered dynamics of de-democratization in the four countries.
"Gendering Democratic Backsliding in Central and Eastern Europe is a must-read for anyone interested in contemporary dynamics of illiberal democracies and reconfiguration of gender regimes. The theoretical introduction by Andrea Krizsán and Conny Roggeband displays great clarity and provides a neat structure for the whole volume. The book collects thick, but well nuanced and insightful analysis of recent developments of four CEE countries: Croatia, Hungary, Poland, and Romania. The case studies are fascinating, impressive for their richness, but thanks to the common analytical framework, the volume is consistent and accessible. The book is timely and essential for better understanding of what is happening to our democracies, gender policies and feminist movements."
Marta Rawluszko, Assistant Professor, University of Warsaw
"So far we missed analysis of gender – state – civil society relations under the process of de-democratization. "Gendering Democratic Backsliding in Central and Eastern Europe" by Krizsán and Roggeband fills this gap with constructing a careful theoretical framework that is coherently applied by their co-authors to country case studies covering Croatia, Hungary, Poland and Romania. Authors of the book present the regression and reversal of gender equality policies and the changing landscape of women's activism in such novel circumstances. A must read to all who are concerned about the future of gender equality and women's activism in the region."
Szikra Dorottya, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Sociology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Table of contents
Introduction: Mapping the Gendered Implications of Democratic Backsliding in the Countries of the CEE Region Andrea Krizsan and Conny Roggeband
The Impact of Neoconservative Activism on Gender Policies and the Women’s Movement in Croatia Leda Sutlovic
Politicizing Gender Equality and Women’s Movement Reactions to it in Hungary Andrea Krizsan and Andrea Sebestyen
“Good Change” and Better Activism: Feminist Responses to Backsliding Gender Policies in Poland Marianna Szczygielska
The Convoluted Gender Policy Processes in Romania: Institutional Disarray and Activist Resilience Ana Chiritoiu
The Challenge to Gender Democracy Conny Roggeband and Andrea Krizsan