Political intersectionality in Central and Eastern Europe
The last decade has brought to equality policy in Europe a steady move away from policy approaches that address different inequalities, and particularly gender inequality separately towards integrated approaches that address multiple inequalities together. This has been particularly manifest in institutional terms, where equality bodies dealing with multiple inequalities came to replace or to complement previously existent inequality specific institutions. Changes catalyze important equality policy debates at both national and European level, among state and non-state actors as well as experts and researchers.
The shift from separate to integrated equality approaches is accompanied on the one hand by hopes that an integrated approach could cover more inequalities than the separate approach, and would level the varying scope of protection given to the different recognized inequality grounds. On the other hand, scholars and policy makers alike express expectations that an integrated equality policy and institutional approach would be more favourable to deal with multiple, intersecting inequalities and thus would better capture the social complexity of inequalities and disadvantages. Meanwhile reservations have also been expressed about the shortcomings of the emerging focus on multiple inequalities, which many feminist argue could mean downsizing or levelling down for already established gender equality policies and institutions.
This comparative project focuses on the politics of multiple inequalities in countries of Central and Eastern Europe coming from a gender equality policy perspective. It aims to evaluate the ways in which multiple inequalities are being addressed institutionally in these countries, and the debates that these changing patterns of institutionalization open up. The project aims to offer a comparative analysis of the multidimensional equality regimes that are emerging in the region as compared to wider Europe.
The project maps the newly occurring patterns of legal-political reforms and analyse the potential these have for ‘institutionalising intersectionality’ in four countries: Hungary, Romania, Poland and Slovenia. It also aims to analyze the reasons for these changes, seeking to explain convergence and variation by Europeanization, pressure from civil society groups to level-up the equality provisions across groups, and institutional and discursive legacies and path dependencies. Finally it aims to identify and analyze patterns of interaction between the different inequality categories facilitated by the various newly emerging equality institutional structures, look for potential for intersectional practices in these patterns of interaction, and discuss some important examples of intersectional practice that come up in the context of the dynamic equality policy arena of the past decade.
The regional project is embedded into a wider European comparative book project on the same topic co-edited with Hege Skjeie, University of Oslo and Judith Squires, Bristol University.
April 2009 - ECPR Joint Sessions Workshop "Institutionalising Intersectionality: Comparative Analyses" convened by Prof Hege Skjeie and Prof Judith Squires. Paper presented by Andrea Krizsan, Raluca Popa and Violetta Zentai 'Intersectionality: who’s concern? Institutionalizing equality policy in new Central and Eastern European Members States of the EU'
January 2011 - ECPG Budapest paper presented by Andrea Krizsan and Violetta Zentai 'Institutionalizing Intersectionality in Central and Eastern Europe'
July 2012 - IPSA Madrid Panel "The Politics of Institutionalizing Intersectionality" convened by Andrea Krizsan and Judith Squires
Volume Institutionalizing intersectionality in Europe. Comparative Analyses. Co-edited by Andrea Krizsan with Judith Squires, Bristol University and Hege Skjeie, University of Oslo, under contract with Palgrave. With introduction and conclusions by co-editors.
Krizsan, Andrea, Viola Zentai “Institutionalizing Intersectionality in Central and Eastern Europe” in Krizsan, Skeje, Squires eds. Institutionalizing Intersectionality (above)
Krizsan, Andrea “Traveling Notions of Gender Equality Institutions Equality Architecture in Central and Eastern European Countries” in Beate Binder, Gabriele Jähnert, Ina Kerner, Eveline Kilian, Hildegard Maria Nickel (eds.)Travelling Gender Studies. GrenzüberschreitendeWissens- und Institutionentransfers. Münster: Westfälisches Dampfboot. 2011. In print
Krizsan, Andrea “A Typology of Equality Institutions for Intersectional Analysis. Equality Architectures in Central and Eastern European Countries” submitted for review to Social Politics, May 2011. Special issue on Institutionalizing Intersectionality edited by Sylvia Walby and Mieke Verloo