Policy frames and implementation problems:
The case of gender mainstreeming
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Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) / Austria

Research Team:

Cornelia Klinger
Research and Project Director
Birgit Sauer
Senior Researcher
Karin Tertinegg
Junior Researcher

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The Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) was established in 1982 by a group of scholars to bring together academics & intellectuals from Eastern & Western Europe. The IWM’s scholarly activities provide the intellectual basis for its policy-related programs which connect scholarly analysis, reflection & discussion with the social, political, & intellectual problems of the region.

The IWM is an institute for advanced study. It invites about 40 Visiting & Junior Visiting Fellows each year from Eastern and Western Europe and the United States to spend six months in residence at the Institute and work together with its Permanent Fellows. Research results are presented in national & international workshops and conferences (usually 10 per year), as well as in regular lectures (35 per year) and seminars (2 series per year) which attract a wide audience from Vienna’s academic institutions. Research at IWM is currently centred on five fields:

  • political philosophy of the 19th & 20th centuries;
  • issues of equality & difference with a special focus on Gender Studies;
  • political & social transformation in Central & Eastern Europe;
  • European contemporary history;
  • the philosophical work of Jan Patocka.

IWM's activities in gender studies reflect the multifarious research interests that have become associated with this broad field of study. It continues the critique that began in the late sixties within the new women's movement which showed that women are excluded from all relevant social spheres - even in Western societies which have purportedly achieved equality of the sexes - and has been active in feminist scholarship which has been critical in determining the discourse of social, literary and cultural studies.

Interdisciplinarity and cooperation on the national as well as on the international level with analogous initiatives in research and higher education are a principle of IWM's Gender Studies Program. As in the past, the possibility of transforming the political order defines the interest of the Institute's gender studies activities. In 1993, an informal Working Group in Feminist Theory which discusses new texts in feminist theory and literature was established. Since 1994 there has been an annual series of Lectures in Gender Studies, which focuses on major themes in this area and provides information on the most recent results from various disciplines and perspectives. In June 2001, a Working Group on State and Gender was set up. Each year the IWM hosts Visiting and Junior Visiting Fellows in Gender Studies.

Funded by the European Commission | Cordis FP5 Mageeq