Gesine Fuchs

2021 Neoliberal Intervention: Analyzing the Drakulić-Funk-Ghodsee-Debates

Hinterhuber, Eva Maria; Fuchs, Gesine (2021): Neoliberal Intervention: Analyzing the Drakulić-Funk-Ghodsee-Debates. In: Mara Lazda, Katalin Fábián und Janet Elise Johnson (Hg.): The Routledge International Handbook of Gender in Central-Eastern Europe and Eurasia. London: Routledge, S. 27–37.

The chapter considers the Drakulić-Funk-Ghodsee debates that have shaped the field of gender in CEE&E since the 1990s. The first debate centers on the dispute between feminisms in the East and West, the second on the interaction between western donors and feminisms on the ground in the region, the third on the scope of action and impact of women’s organizations under state socialism, and the fourth on contemporary dynamics, including the rise of authoritarianism accompanied by a backlash in gender relations. In each case, the debates revolve about a core controversy within the left, namely how to evaluate state socialist policies and realities, especially concerning gender relations, how to evaluate the role women’s activism has played in willingly or unwillingly in spreading neoliberalism in the region, and how feminism is challenged by both neoliberalism and the recent rise of authoritarianism in the region. Underneath is an argument about social science, whether (Western) concepts and methods apply to the region, and how these debates can open up new ways of seeing and knowing.