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The Longue Durée of Empire

Toward a Comparative Semantics of a Key Concept in Modern European History

Jörn Leonhard

Against the background of a new interest in empires past and present and an inflation of the concept in modern political language and beyond, the article first looks at the use of the concept as an analytical marker in historical and current interpretations of empires. With a focus on Western European cases, the concrete semantics of empire as a key concept in modern European history is analyzed, combining a reconstruction of some diachronic trends with synchronic differentiations.

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Pamela Ballinger and Kristen P. Ghodsee

Scholars of religion have increasingly brought secularism within the framework of critical studies of spirituality, analyzing the dialogic relationship between religions and secularisms past and present. This emerging field of “postsecularist” studies examines the multiple meanings and practices that different cultures and societies attach to the concepts of “religion,” “faith,” and “piety.” The articles presented in this special section of Aspasia contribute to these larger academic debates by focusing on the multiethnic and historically pluralistic region of Southeastern Europe, an area too often ignored in larger scholarly discussions that have focused primarily on Western Europe and the so-called Third World. More important, the articles in this volume demonstrate how secularization projects are intricately interwoven with gender relations in any given society. Collectively, the articles urge readers to draw connections between the shifting spiritual cartographies, state formations, and definitions of appropriate masculinity and femininity of particular Southeastern European societies.

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Ordinary Trauma

Twenty-One Disabled Women Surviving the 1989 Polish Transformation

Natalia Pamula

Abstract

This article analyzes the Polish disability memoirs in Cierpieniem pisane: Pamiętniki kobiet niepełnosprawnych (Written through Suffering: Disabled Women's Memoirs), published in 1991. Written through Suffering consists of twenty-one short memoirs submitted as a response to a memoir competition organized around the theme “I am a Disabled Woman” in 1990. Published two years after the first democratic elections, which took place in Poland in June 1989, this anthology shows that contrary to the mainstream narrative in Poland, Western Europe, and the US, 1989 did not bring about a revolution or any dramatic change for disabled women. Women's memoirs included in this collection question the teleological narrative of linear progression from state socialism to democracy and capitalism and point to the uneven distribution of newly acquired rights.

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Sharon A. Kowalsky

—contribute to action and experience. Although there is some overlap among the various contributions, the articles are arranged roughly chronologically, beginning in the late nineteenth century in Greece and traveling north to Russia, Poland, and parts of Western

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Public Health in Eastern Europe

Visible Modernization and Elusive Gender Transformation

Evguenia Davidova

endorse the decentering of research on Western European public health. The authors promote academic dialogue and suggest fruitful venues for future studies. Readers interested in structural issues in healthcare, in which power and gender imbalances are

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Introduction

Men and Masculinities under Socialism: Toward a Social and Cultural History

Peter Hallama

the contrary, state-socialist societies engaged in “serious discussions about the need for a more sincere and democratic form of intimacy” that we know well from Western Europe and the United States. 50 Part of this were, for instance, also

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Introduction

Concepts of Emotions in Indian Languages

Margrit Pernau

arising and floating in the interaction between them. 21 These assumptions are linked to a development that started in Western Europe with the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, both of which accorded a religiously motivated importance to the

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Valentina Mitkova

texture of her poetry. “Asimvolia” (Asymbolia)—the fifth thematic part of the volume—outlines Miglena Nikolchina's interests in the field of Western European literature and modernism, interpreted through the theoretical optics of Julia Kristeva. 8 The

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The East Side Story of Gender and Feminism

The Hungarian and Czech Cases

Gabriela Dudeková Kováčová

have credibly contested the simplified idea that the region experienced the same processes as Western Europe and the United States, but with a time lag. Such authors’ projections stemmed mainly from their lack of knowledge of the different cultural and

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“The 1990s Wasn't Just a Time of Bandits; We Feminists Were Also Making Mischief!”

Celebrating Twenty Years of Feminist Enlightenment Projects in Tver’

Julie Hemment and Valentina Uspenskaya

group of acquaintances, colleagues, and students in the first wave of independent organizing in Russia during the late Perestroika era (1991). Zhenskii Svet was an unusual project. Inspired both by Western European and Russian histories of feminism, its