Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Marilyn Rueschemeyer

Marilyn Rueschemeyer

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Marilyn Rueschemeyer

Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs


Marilyn Rueschemeyer is professor emerita at the Rhode Island School of Design and an adjunct professor of international studies at the Watson Institute.

Rueschemeyer specializes in communist and postcommunist societies, and for several years has been the representative of the American Sociological Association to the Board of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, the organization that brings together scholars from all disciplines working in postcommunist societies.

In the fall of 2004, Rueschemeyer received an invitation from the Social Science Center in Berlin to spend part of the semester working in the German Bundestag. Her study is part of a larger comparison of the experiences and political goals of women from five postcommunist states. The Woodrow Wilson Center has given a grant to the scholars and representative politicians for a workshop in Washington, DC, which was held in the spring of 2004. She returned to do interviews in the Bundestag in 2007 and 2009.

For several years, Rueschemeyer chaired the Watson Institute's Future of Germany Seminar Series. In 2004, she initiated a seminar series on European politics. This seminar series is now in its 13th year. Aside from these series, Rueschemeyer has organized a number of workshops at the Watson Institute. These included "Left Parties and Social Policy in Postcommunist Central Europe and Russia," "The Future of the German Welfare State," and "Housing Design and Housing Policy in Europe and in the United States." She was co-organizer of a workshop and film presentation on "Hybrid Culture: Minorities in Germany" and with Enric Bou, head of Hispanic Studies at Brown, coordinated a panel on "Social and Political Issues Facing the European Union at 50" with the participation of the consuls general of Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, and Spain.

Among her numerous publications are Art and the State: The Visual Arts in Comparative Perspective, co-authored with Victoria Alexander, and Women in Power in Post-Communist Parliaments, co-edited with Sharon Wolchik. Other publications include Left Parties and Social Policies in Postcommunist Europe (co-edited with Linda Cook and Mitchell Orenstein, 1999); Participation and Democracy East and West: Comparison and Interpretations (co-edited with Dietrich Rueschemeyer and Bjorn Wittrock, 1998); Women in Postcommunist Eastern Europe, 2nd edition 1998; The Quality of Life in the German Democratic Republic: Changes and Developments in a State Socialist Society (co-edited with Christiane Lemke, 1989; Soviet Emigre Artists: Life and Work in the United States and the USSR (co-authored with Igor Golomshtok and Janet Kennedy, 1985); and Professional Work and Marriage: An East-West Comparison (1981).

In 2013, Rueschemeyer edited a special issue of Problems of Post-Communism. Seven contributors wrote about their research in communist countries. Her contribution: "Sociological Explorations in the German Democratic Republic, 1975-1989."

Rueschemeyer's professional honors are many: Invited Guest, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (Social Science Research Center); Fellow, The Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden; Visiting Fellow, Stockhom Institute of Soviet and East European Economics; IREX grants for work at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and for research in the former German Democratic Republic; chosen by the National Academy of Sciences of the United States as an Exchange Scholar at the Academy of Sciences of the German Democratic Republic; Visiting Fellow, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Senior Associate Member of St. Antony's College, Oxford University in 1979, 1982, 1997.


“Women’s Participation in Postcommunist Politics” in Sharon L. Wolchik and Jane L. Curry, eds., Central and East European Politics: From Communism to Democracy, Lanham, Maryland: Roman and Littlefield, 2008; updated for the 2011 second edition, pp. 109-125, third edition 2014.

Research in Communist Countries. Special issue of Problems of Post-Communism, editor, Vol. 60, 4, July/August 2013, pp. 3-60.

"Sociological Explorations in the German Democratic Republic, 1975-1989," Research in Communist Countries, Problems of Post-Communism, Vol. 60, 4, July/August 2013, pp. 43-49.

Women in Power in Post-Communist Parliaments (edited with Sharon L. Wolchik) Washington D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press/Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2009.

“Women in Power: The Issues,” co-authored with Sharon Wolchik, in Marilyn Rueschemeyer and Sharon Wolchik, eds., Women in Power in Post-Communist Parliaments, Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press/ Bloominigton: Indiana University Press, 2009, pp. 1-21.