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Julie Hemment's engrossing study traces the development encounter through interactions between international foundations and Russian women's groups during a decade of national collapse. Prohibited from organizing independently under state socialism, women's groups became a focus of attention in the mid-1990s for foundations eager to promote participatory democracy, but the version of civil society that has emerged (the "third sector") is far from what Russian activists envisioned and what donor agencies promised. Drawing on ethnographic methods and Participatory Action Research, Hemment tells the story of her introduction to and growing collaboration with members of the group Zhenskii Svet (Women's Light) in the provincial city of Tver'.
"[A]ddresses issues crucial to our understanding of democracy, civic agency, and Western aid programs. It offers a coherent discussion of how gender and women's activism are shaped by—and can still transgress—the harsh reality of the pos" —communist 'brave new world.'" —Elena Gapova, Centre for Gender Studies, European Humanities University
Introduction: Gendered Interventions
1. Muddying the Waters: Participatory Action Research in Tver'
2. Querying Democratization: Civil Society, International Aid, and the Riddle of the Third Sector
3. Gender Mainstreaming and the Third-Sectorization of Russian Women's Activism
4. Global Civil Society and the Local Costs of Belonging: Setting up a Crisis Center in Tver'
5. A Tale of Two Projects
List of References
Indiana University Press