Society and Culture | Wilson Center

Society and Culture

Post-Soviet Women Encountering Transition: Nation-Building, Economic Survival, and Civic Activism

Women in the former Soviet Union, despite a legacy of high levels of education and labor force participation, face a host of new problems, according to editors Kathleen Kuehnast and Carol Nechemias. Neo-familialist ideologies have arisen, with a longing for the return of traditional families. A gendered division of labor in the market economy has pushed women to the bottom of the pyramid of small businesses as bazaar merchants. And in the political arena, men dominate formal government structures and political parties, while women dominate the realm of non-governmental organizations.

Russia's Lost Reformation: Peasants, Millennialism, and Radical Sects in Southern Russia and Ukraine, 1830-1917

Radical Protestant Christianity became widespread in rural parts of southern Russia and Ukraine in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Russia’s Lost Reformation: Peasants, Millennialism, and Radical Sects in Southern Russia and Ukraine, 1830–1917 studies the origins and evolution of the theology and practices of these radicals and their contribution to an alternative culture in the region.

Illegal Drugs, Economy, and Society in the Andes

Some countries develop illegal drug industries, and others do not. Discerning the distinguishing characteristics—social, economic, and political—of countries with these industries forms the subject of this sophisticated and humane study.

Governance on the Ground: Innovations and Discontinuities in the Developing World

Governance on the Ground shows people at a local level working through municipal institutions to take more responsibility for their own lives and environment. This study reports what social scientists in eight local networks found when they chose their own subjects for a worldwide comparative study of institutional reform at the local level. Governance on the Ground is the culminating product of the Global Urban Research Initiative, a major 1990s research effort that created a worldwide network of some 400 social scientists.

Beyond Imagined Communities: Reading and Writing the Nation in Nineteenth-Century Latin America

How did the nationalisms of Latin America’s many countries—elaborated in everything from history and fiction to cookery—arise from their common backgrounds in the Spanish and Portuguese empires and their similar populations of mixed European, native, and African origins? Beyond Imagined Communities: Reading and Writing the Nation in Nineteenth-Century Latin America, discards one answer and provides a rich collection of others.

Finding the Middle Way: The Utraquists' Liberal Challenge to Rome and Luther

Can an orthodox Christian creed and ritual be combined with a liberal church administration and a tolerant civic acceptance of not-so-orthodox views and practices? This question—perennial among Catholics for the past two centuries and the goal of the Anglican quest for a via media—finds an affirmative answer in Zdenek V. David’s history of the Utraquist church of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Bohemia.

Religion Returns to the Public Square: Faith and Policy in America

Despite talk of a “naked public square,&rdquot; religion has never really lost its place in American public life. As the twenty-first century opened, it was re-emerging in unexpected and paradoxical ways. Religious institutions were considered for expanded roles in welfare and education, at the same time that the limits of religious pluralism—as, for example, in the relation of Islam to American values—became a question of urgent public concern.

Entangled Evolutions: Media and Democratization in Eastern Europe

The revolutions of 1989 swept away Eastern Europe’s communist governments and created expectations on the part of many observers that post-communist media would lead the liberated societies in establishing and embracing democratic political cultures. Peter Gross finds that it was utopian to hold such expectations of the media in societies in transition.

Fragmented Space in the Russian Federation

Russia is a country of great complexity—eighty-nine subject regions, ethnic diversity, economic variance across regions, the power struggle of Moscow versus the regions—and multiple realities—urban versus rural, rich versus poor, and cosmopolitan versus provincial, just to name a few. Fragmented Space in the Russian Federation explores Russia’s complexity and the meanings of the country’s internal borders, the future of its agricultural spaces, the development of its political parties, and the effect of its federal organization.

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