Contested territories: Women's neighbourhood activism and German reunification

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter explores how women negotiate their involvement in political action in the context of the forms of rapid change that have marked the ‘transitions’ from communism in eastern Europe and the post-Soviet states. The processes of political, economic, cultural and social change that constitute these ‘transitions’ have been discussed already in relation to issues of globalisation and neoliberalism (see Chapter 2). One of the key issues that this chapter seeks to question is the way in which dominant understandings of post-communist ‘transition’ and transformation regard them as undifferentiated, global-scale processes that ‘impact’ on passive spaces and people (Smith and Pickles, 1998). In the specific case of German reunification, this is reflected in the way the unequal power relations between ‘East’ and ‘West’ have become mapped onto the opposition between an active ‘West’, promoting change and providing the expertise, and a passive ‘East’, the recipient of change. Kathrin Horschelmann (1997) argues that this move feminises the whole of the ‘East’ and contrasts it with a masculinised ‘West’.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeographies of New Femininities
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781315840147
ISBN (Print)9780582320246
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2014


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