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Joanna Mishtal

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Year of Publication: 2016

De Zordo, Silvia ; Mishtal, Joanna ; Anton, Lorena, A Fragmented Landscape: Abortion Governance and Protest Logics in Europe, New York and Oxford, Berghahn, 2016, pp. 304

Since 1945 European states have achieved increasing levels of economic integration, but their social policy have varied. This is particularly true for contentious issues such as abortion, where different political and religious institutions and social movements have produced very different policies. This book provides an interdisciplinary survey of the struggles over abortion rights. Drawing on national case studies from across the continent, it analyses the strategies and discourses of groups seeking to liberalise or restrict reproductive rights, from the immediate postwar era to the austerity politics, resurgent nationalism, and mass migration of today.

Year of Publication: 2015

Mishtal, Joanna, The Politics of Morality: The Church, the State, and Reproductive Rights in Postsocialist Poland, Athens, Ohio, Ohio University Press, 2015, pp. 272

After the initial hopes for democracy and freedom after the fall of the state socialist regime in 1989, political forces that had been dormant during the state socialist era began to emerge, and to establish a new religious-nationalist orthodoxy. Solidarity, which played a key role in ending the communist regime, had worked quietly with the Catholic Church. Most Poles were at least nominally Catholics. As the Church emerged as a political force in the Polish Sejm and Senate, it promoted a rapid erosion of women’s reproductive rights, especially the right to abortion established under the former regime. This book is an anthropological study of this expansion of power by the religious right and its effects on individual rights and social attitudes. It explores the contradictions of postsocialist democratization in Poland and provides the background to the advance on abortion rights activism in Poland.