phd research


Bodies, their biological reproduction, and their composition in a population are embedded in political structures of nation-states. The question of who will or will not become a parent got even more complicated as reproduction became possible through state-regulated assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) in the late 1970s. In this context, this dissertation illustrates the biopolitical function of the regulation, implementation, and access to and use of ARTs in Germany and Israel. In order to understand how scientific knowledge and practices of ARTs play out in light of national differences, a twofold comparative approach is deployed. On the ‘institutional level’, document analysis of legal policy regarding regulation of ARTs will be complemented by qualitative face-to-face interviews with key stakeholders in the realm of fertility treatment (members of advisory committees, medical personnel in fertility clinics, religious authorities, advocacy groups). Qualitative face-to-face in-depth interviews with women belonging to a marginalized group in their respective society who wish to fulfill their reproductive desires by turning to ARTs will capture the ‘individual level’, focusing on the implications of ART regulation in everyday reproductive practices. The aim of this dissertation is to draft a sociology of connected histories of assisted reproduction, whilst taking into account national(ist) differences.