Valerie Sperling

Author of Sex, Politics, and Putin: Political Legitimacy in Russia

Valerie Sperling is a Professor of Political Science at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, where she teaches courses in comparative politics and women's and gender studies. Her most recent book, Sex, Politics, and Putin: Political Legitimacy in Russia (Oxford University Press, 2015) has been included in a list of Top 10 Books on Russia and won the Davis Center Prize in Political and Social Studies for the “outstanding monograph on Russia, Eurasia, or Eastern Europe in anthropology, political science, sociology or geography,” and the Heldt Prize for Best Book in Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian Women’s Studies.

Sex, Politics, and Putin explores the use of gender norms and sexualization in Putin-era Russian politics, with a focus on political youth activists (pro- and anti-Kremlin) and young feminist activists. You can learn more about the book here and in Sperling's interview with New Hampshire Public Radio. She is also the author of Organizing Women in Contemporary Russia: Engendering Transition (Cambridge University Press, 1999) and Altered States: The Globalization of Accountability (Cambridge University Press, 2009).