This conference aimed at exploring the experiences and the political goals of women elected to parliament in the postcommunist countries of East Central Europe and Russia. Since 1989, the political scene in Eastern Europe and Russia has changed swiftly. In many countries, women participated in the drive to transform the communist system through demonstrations, civil activism and roundtables.Yet, in the immediate transition period, civic participation of the population in general has declined and the social and political participation of women seems to have declined more than that of men. This difference is attributed in part to the fact that women have been more burdened by the complex adjustments to the social and economic transformations of their societies. In the last few years, however, women with good qualifications and professional experience are slowly gaining political power and influence in several countries.
March 1997 - Over the past two years, the economic performance of three of the most prosperous East European countries, Hungary, Croatia, and Slovenia, has in some respects been disappointing. In an effort to understand the reasons, Keith Crane analyzed their monetary and fiscal policies and evaluated the progress of their privatization programs.
December 2000- When Croatia and Slovenia declared independence from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1991, they surpassed all other Yugoslav republics in their readiness to enter European institutions, due to their Hapsburg legacies, geographical locations and advanced civic and entrepreneurial traditions. Leaders of the independence movements of both countries made euphoric proclamations of their "return to Europe" after being held "captive" in Balkan federations.
Of all of the Yugoslav successor states, Slovenia has recorded the smoothest and least problematic transition toward liberal democracy and has maintained the highest level of system stability, as measured by several conventional indicators. What accounts for this relative success? It is fashionable in some quarters to attribute Slovenia's smoother transition to the country's high degree of ethnic homogeneity or to its greater prosperity. While it may be that these factors are not entirely irrelevant, I would prefer to place the stress on two rather different factors, viz., the fact that the League of Communists of Slovenia already embarked on the transition to a pluralist system in the mid-1980s, building bridges with the Slovenian opposition, and, in the process, beginning the transition to legitimate government; and the fact that liberal political culture was planting its seeds in Slovenia already in the 1980s, if not before. Indeed, the activities of pacifist, environmentalist, punk, and lesbian and gay associations at that time helped to lay the foundations for a tolerant liberal culture in Slovenia, at a time when Serbia was sinking ever deeper into a thoroughly nationalist culture.
February 2001- Since 1990, the Slovenian educational system has been undergoing continuous reform, stimulated by three major social incentives: introduction of political pluralism and market economy (1990); Slovenia's independence (1991); and, Slovenia's preparation for membership in the European Union (2003/04). To prepare and implement the reform, the Parliament and the Ministry of Education and Sport established a large and complex administrative apparatus with several permanent institutions and temporary commissions.
Women in Power in Post-Communist Parliaments examines the life and work of women who have reached positions of political power after the end of communism in Europe.
This publication stemmed from a conference held on April 23, 2004 entitled "Women in East European Politics." The event was co-sponsored by the Kennan Institute, the Watson Institute, Brown University and the George Washington University.