Bergen Summer Research School
Course | BSRS 2021

Reproductive health: gendered and local-global dynamics

This interdisciplinary course aims to provide doctoral students and young researchers from the social‐ and health sciences with a space to discuss local-global dynamics in reproductive health.

Main content

Course leaders
Haldis Haukanes, Professor, Department of Health Promotion and Development, UiB  
Astrid Blystad, Professor, Centre for International Health, Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, UiB
Karen Marie Moland, Professor, Centre for International Health Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, UiB

Course lecturers
Lynn Morgan, Professor Emerita, Mount Holyoke College, USA
Getnet Tadele, Professor, Department of Sociology, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia 
Agnieszka Kościańska, Professor, Institute of ethnology and cultural anthropology, University of Warsaw, Poland 

Through the lenses of ‘reproductive governance’ we will scrutinize the articulation between global policies/conventions and socio-political conditions that have implications for people’s reproductive health and rights. With particular emphasis on fertility control and safe abortion, we will analyse a series of cases from different theoretical and methodological angles to foster critical thinking on a set of gendered reproductive health challenges.

Learning outcomes
During the course, faculty and students will together unpack and analyse: 

  • global governance structures and international conventions regulating the field of reproductive health and rights
  • the interplay between policy, legislation, and moral discourse relating to women’s reproductive rights
  • young men and women’s agency to handle their fertility within given legal, socio-economic, cultural and religious contexts 

The course employs innovative, student led approaches to learning in combination with lectures and workshops. 

Participation at the BSRS is credited under the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). Participants submitting an essay, in a form of a publishable manuscript of 10-20 pages, after the end of the summer school will receive 10 ECTS. Deadline for submission will be decided by your course leader.

It is also possible to participate without producing an essay. This will give you 4 ECTS. In order to receive credits, we expect full participation in the course-specific modules, plenary events and roundtables.

Haldis Haukanes is a social anthropologist and professor at the Department of Health Promotion and Development, University of Bergen. She has done anthropological research in the Czech Republic for 25 years, studying among others the post-communist transformation in rural areas. She also been involved in gender-related research in Sub- Saharan Africa and has headed the NCR-funded project Gender in poverty reduction. Critical Explorations of Norwegian Aid Policy on Gender Equality and Women’s Rights. Her most recent publications include the edited volume Intimacy and Mobility in the Era of Hardening Borders. Gender, Reproduction, Regulation (with Frances Pine; in press; Manchester University Press)

Karen Marie Moland is professor at Centre for International Health, Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, University of Bergen where she leads the Global Health Anthropology Research Group. She is a political scientist and has carried out research in Eastern Africa focusing on global-local dynamics in maternal and reproductive health policy and implementation. She has been heavily involved in collaboration with institutions in sub-Saharan Africa and has published extensively together with partners. The latest project, on safe abortion and fertility control, was published as a thematic issue ‘Reproductive health and the politics of abortion’ in 2019.

Astrid Blystad is professor at Centre for International Health, Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, University of Bergen. She is a social anthropologist and has carried out long-term fieldwork in Eastern Africa. A main research focus has been the intersection between global and national health policy and local politics of reproduction. She has been PI of a series of research projects, the latest being Competing discourses impacting girls’ and women’s rights: Fertility control and safe abortion in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia. A recent publication is The access paradox: abortion law, policy and practice in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia (2019).  


Lynn M. Morgan and Roberts, Elizabeth F.S. Reproductive governance in Latin America, in Anthropology & medicine, Informa UK Limited,  England 2012. Pages 241-254. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13648470.2012.675046

Lynn M. Morgan. Reproductive Governance, Redux, in Medical anthropology, Informa UK Limited, United States 2019. Pages: 113-117 https://doi.org/10.1080/01459740.2018.1555829 

Jean-Pierre Olivier de Sardan; Diarra, Aïssa; Moha, Mahaman. Travelling models and the challenge of pragmatic contexts and practical norms: the case of maternal health, in Health research policy and systems, Springer Science and Business Media LLC, England 2017. Pages: 60-60. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12961-017-0213-9

Sakiko Fukuda-Parr; Yamin, Alicia Ely. The Power of Numbers: A critical review of MDG targets for human development and human rights, in Development (Society for International Development), Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills 2013. Pages: 58-65. https://doi.org/10.1057/dev.2013.8

Rayna Rapp. Reproductive Entanglements: Body, State, and Culture in the Dys/Regulation of Child-Bearing, in Social research, New School for Social Research, New York 2011. Pages: 693-718. 

Astrid Blystad; Haukanes, Haldis; Tadele, Getnet; Haaland, Marte E. S; Sambaiga, Richard; Zulu, Joseph Mumba; Moland, Karen Marie. The access paradox: abortion law, policy and practice in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia, in International journal for equity in health, Springer Science and Business Media LLC, England 2019. Pages: 126-126. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-019-1024-0 

Getnet Tadele; Haukanes, Haldis; Blystad, Astrid; Moland, Karen Marie. ‘An uneasy compromise’: strategies and dilemmas in realizing a permissive abortion law in Ethiopia, in International journal for equity in health. Springer Science and Business Media LLC England 2019. Pages: 138-138. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-019-1017-z 

Marte E. S Haaland; Haukanes, Haldis; Zulu, Joseph Mumba; Moland, Karen Marie; Michelo, Charles; Munakampe, Margarate Nzala; Blystad, Astrid. Shaping the abortion policy – competing discourses on the Zambian termination of pregnancy act, in International journal for equity in health, Springer Science and Business Media LLC, England 2019. Pages: 20-20. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-018-0908-8

Joseph Mumba Zulu; Blystad, Astrid; Haaland, Marte E. S; Michelo, Charles; Haukanes, Haldis; Moland, Karen Marie. Why teach sexuality education in school? Teacher discretion in implementing comprehensive sexuality education in rural Zambia, in International journal for equity in health. Springer Science and Business Media LLC, England 2019. Pages: 116-116. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-019-1023-1

I.H Solheim; Moland, K.M; Kahabuka, C; Pembe, A.B; Blystad, A. Beyond the law: Misoprostol and medical abortion in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in Social science & medicine (1982). Elsevier Ltd, England 2020. Pages: 112676-112676. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2019.112676

Mulumebet Zenebe; Haukanes, Haldis. When abortion is not within reach: Ethiopian university students struggling with unintended pregnancies, in International journal for equity in health, Springer Science and Business Media LLC, England 2019. Pages: 23-23. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-019-0925-2 

Andrea Melberg; Mirkuzie, Alemnesh Hailemariam; Sisay, Tesfamichael Awoke; Sisay, Mitike Molla; Moland, Karen Marie. 'Maternal deaths should simply be 0': politicization of maternal death reporting and review processes in Ethiopia, in Health policy and planning, Oxford University Press, England 2019. Pages: 492-498. https://doi.org/10.1093/heapol/czz075 

Katerini T. Storeng, and Ouattara, Fatoumata. The politics of unsafe abortion in Burkina Faso: The interface of local norms and global public health practice, in Global public health, Informa UK Limited, England 2014. Pages: 946-959. https://doi.org/10.1080/17441692.2014.937828 

Joanna Mishtal. Reproductive Governance and the (Re)definition of Human Rights in Poland, in Medical anthropology, Informa UK Limited, United States 2018. Pages: 182-194. https://doi.org/10.1080/01459740.2018.1472090 

Agnieszka Kościańska. The handbook of masturbation and defloration’: tracing sources of recent neo-conservatism in Poland, in Intimacy and Mobility in the era of hardening borders. Gender, reproduction, regulation. Eds: Haldis Haukanes and Frances Pine. Chapter 12.

David Paternotte, and Kuhar, Roman. Disentangling and Locating the “Global Right”: Anti-Gender Campaigns in Europe, in Politics and governance, Cogitatio, Lisbon 2018. Pages: 6-19. https://doi.org/10.17645/pag.v6i3.1557