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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2020/21 Prof. Dr. Janet Elise Johnson

Prof. Dr. Janet Elise Johnson

Source: private
Brooklyn College, New York
Political Science
External Senior Fellow
Marie S. Curie FCFP Fellow
January - May 2020

Room 02 011a
Phone +49 (0) 761-203 97424
Fax +49 (0) 761-203 97451


Janet Elise Johnson earned her PhD in Political Science and Gender Studies from Indiana University. Johnson's three books and more than a dozen articles or book chapters focus on gender, violence, civil society, and public policy, especially in Russia and other postcommunist societies. Her 2018 book considers the connection between gender and informal politics in Russia and Iceland. In addition to academic scholarship, she has written for The Nation and online for The Washington Post's Monkey Cage, Boston Review, and The New Yorker

In addition to her institutional home at the City University of New York, she has been affiliated with the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies at New York University (2008-2019), the Aleksanteri Institute-Finnish Centre for Russian and Eastern European Studies at the University of Helsinki (2012), the Harriman Institute at Columbia University (2012-2013), and Miami University’s Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies (2001-2003).

She has won awards from the Social Science Research Council's Eurasia Program and the American-Scandinavian Foundation. From 2016-2019, she was the principal investigator for Brooklyn College’s Human Rights in Iran Unit/Impact Iran. She is a co-coordinator of the monthly workshop on Gender and Transformation: Europe at New York University. She is on the Board of Directors (2018-2020) and the Executive Committee (2019) of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies.

Selected Publications

  • The Gender of Informal Politics: Russia, Iceland and Twenty-First Century Male Dominance. Palgrave’s Gender and Politics series, 2018
  • “Fast-Tracked or Boxed In?  Informal Politics, Gender, and Women’s Representation in Putin’s Russia,” Perspectives on Politics, 14(3: September), pp. 643-659, 2016
  • “Street-level Practice of Russia's Social Policymaking in Saint Petersburg: Federalism, Informal Politics, and Domestic Violence” (with Meri Kulmala and Maija Jäppinen), Journal of Social Policy 45(2), pp. 287-304, 2016
  • "Pussy Riot as a feminist project: Russia's gendered informal politics," Nationalities Papers: The Journal of Nationalism and Ethnicity 42(4), pp. 583-590, 2014
  • “A feminist theory of corruption: Lessons from Iceland” (with Thorgerdur Einarsdóttir and Gyda Margrét Pétursdóttir), Politics & Gender 9 (2: June), pp. 174-206., 2014

FRIAS Research Project

Gender in Central-Eastern Europe and Eurasia

As one of three editors, I will be completing The Routledge International Handbook to Gender in Central-Eastern Europe and Eurasia (under contract for submission 2020), a 58-chapter collection which examines the contemporary political and historical approaches to gender in Central-Eastern Europe and post-Soviet Eurasia from the twentieth century. More than just a resource, the goal is to consolidate and advance this field of study that emerged with the collapse of communism but remains on the margins of the broader field of gender studies and comparative European history. My objective in particular will be to apply and tease out the implications of my 2018 book, The Gender of Informal Politics, which foregrounds the role of informal elite networks and practices in gendering power, important insights from the “second world.”