Professor of political science Valerie Sperling delivered an invited lecture at the University of Florida Center for European Studies on Monday, April 7. In her talk “Sex, Politics, and Putin, ” she explored how gender stereotypes and sexualization have been used as tools of political legitimation in Putin’s Russia. Despite their political polarization, regime allies and detractors alike have wielded traditional concepts of masculinity, femininity, and homophobia as a means of symbolic endorsement or disparagement of political leaders and policies.
Sperling’s research interests include globalization and accountability, social movements, gender politics, patriotism and militarism, and state-building in the post-communist region. She is the author of “Altered States: The Globalization of Accountability” (Cambridge University Press, June 2009) and “Organizing Women in Contemporary Russia: Engendering Transition” (Cambridge University Press, November 1999).