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Dr Yuliya Hilevych

Dr Yuliya Hilevych

Newton International Fellow

Yuliya Hilevych is available for consultancy.

West Rd
Cambridge CB3 9EF


I am a Newton International Fellow at the University of Cambridge working on the study of reproduction, social relations and public policy.

I hold a BA and MA in Sociology from the University of Lviv, in Ukraine, and a PhD in Sociology from Wageningen University, a joint degree with Radboud University, in the Netherlands. Previously, I held research positions in a United Nations project at Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) and at Radboud University, where I am now an affiliated scholar. I received research grants from the British Academy, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), and Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice.

Research Interests

My PhD dissertation was an ethnography of the post-war fertility decline in Soviet Ukraine and it focused on the role of family and social relations in reproductive decision-making. My subsequent collaborative projects have examined discourses, policies and practices of family planning as broadly defined in Western and Eastern Europe, and I am specifically interested in situating these in the context of Cold War population tensions. By following on this line of research, my current two-year project studies the changes in the post-war health care system and individuals’ personal and collective experiences of infertility in Britain before the invention of in-vitro fertilisation, c.1945-1980. Specifically, I study how these experiences have challenged the existing institutional structure and provision of certain treatments in the post-war decades, with the primary focus being on the emergence of infertility counselling and grassroots activism around infertility. My overarching goal is to produce what I call a social history of infertility, which will enrich our understanding of the construction of reproductive identities associated with infertility.

Other Professional Activities

I am a member of the (European) Social Science History Association, the Netherlands Demographic Society (NVD), and the Association for Young Historical Demographers.


  • Economic, Social History


Key Publications

Hilevych Y., & Sato C. (2018, forthcoming) ‘Popular medical discourses on birth control in the Soviet Union during the Cold War: Shifting responsibilities and relational values’. To appear in: Isabel Heinemann, Theresia Theuke and Ann-Katrin Gembries (Eds.), ‘Children by Choice? Changing Values, Reproduction, and Family Planning in the 20th Century’, (De Gruyter: Berlin, Boston).

Hilevych, Y. (2016) Strong Families and Declining Fertility, Wageningen University Dissertations, 191 p. ISBN 978-94-6257-938-5

Hilevych Y. (2016) Later, if ever: Family influences on transition from first to second birth in Soviet Ukraine, Continuity and Change 31(2), 275-300

Hilevych, Y., & MacNamara, T. (Eds.). (2015). Qualitative approaches to demographic questions. Special issue in: The History of the Family Vol. 20 (1). Including the Introduction: MacNamara, T., & Hilevych, Y. (2015). Living in the demos, The History of the Family, 20 (1), 1-8

Hilevych, Y. (2015). Abortion and gender relationships in Ukraine, 1955–1970, The History of the Family, 20 (1), 86-105


Other Publications

Boomen van den N., Dane J., Hilevych Y., Hoedemaeckers J., Walhout E., Kok, J. (2017) ‘Beklemd in de Scharnieren van de tijd: Beleid, praktijk en ervaringen van afstand ter adoptie door niet-gehuwde moeders in Nederland tussen 1956 en 1984’ (Hostages of time. Policy, practice and experiences of relinquishment for adoption by unmarried mothers in the Netherlands between 1956 and 1984). Scientific report for the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice, WODC. INSB: 978-94-92380-40-1