Reproductive Practices and State Politics in the Post-Socialist Poland


Dissertation Fellowships in East European Studies


Department of Anthropology


My research focuses on a puzzle in post-socialist Poland: Why is it that the birth rate is falling despite a revival of the Catholic focus on motherhood and in the face of cutbacks in family planning services? My research reveals that reproductive politics are at the center of the transformative negotiations taking place in Poland. Thus I examined the reciprocal effect of how politics shape reproduction and how reproduction is used in politics. I answer three vital questions: (1) What effect do restrictive reproductive policies have on women's reproductive decisions and their participation in politics? (2) How is reproduction used by politicians to legitimize their agendas? (3) What is the role of the Catholic Church in shaping gender-related policies in Poland and in the European Union?