Demographic Change in Central and Eastern Europe
Demographic Behaviour since 1990
Annual Conference 2020 of the German Society for Demography (DGD)
in collaboration with the Center for Demography and Diversity at the Technische Universität Dresden, the Estonian Demographic Association, the Hungarian Demographic Research Institute, the Czech Society for Demography and the Committee on Demographic Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences.
The fall of the Berlin Wall was followed by thorough and rapid changes that affected all layers of society. Welfare state policies were fundamentally reformed and labour markets deeply restructured, leading to rapidly growing economic opportunities but also uncertainties among the population. Alongside this development, demographic behaviour has changed profoundly in the aftermath of the collapse of the formerly socialist societies. Women’s age at first birth increased, and period fertility dropped. Also affected was the marriage, divorce and non-marital childbearing behaviour, albeit to very varying degrees in the different countries. Moreover, mortality as well as migration patterns were deeply influenced by the regime change. A pressing research question at that time was under which conditions the family-related behaviour of the formerly socialist countries would start following “Western” patterns. Did these demographic behaviours between East and West eventually converge? Did value changes matter for family transformations? Which role did the restructuring of the welfare states play? What were the effects of labour market developments on demographic change? Which distinct demographic features have remained until today in Central and Eastern European countries?
Almost 30 years after German reunification, it is time to revisit these research questions. Together with the Center for Demography and Diversity at the TU Dresden, the Estonian Demographic Association, the Hungarian Demographic Research Institute, the Czech Society for Demography and the Committee on Demographic Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the German Society for Demography invites scholars to submit their work on “Demography in Central and Eastern Europe” to this annual conference. We invite contributions that address any of the themes covered by the Working Groups of the DGD. These are:
|Convergence or divergence? Data and methods to compare demographic developments in Europe (Central and Eastern Europe vs. ‘Western Europe’)|
|Non-traditional data sources (e.g., data from social media) and novel methodological approaches (e.g., Bayesian models) are rapidly gaining importance in demographic research. We are looking for contributions which make use of new kinds of data or statistical models that allow the comparative analysis of demographic trajectories. Submissions dealing with Central and Eastern Europe are especially welcome.|
|Demographic and societal developments in Central and Eastern Europe|
|The aim of the session is to discuss empirical work on current demographic and social developments from the various perspectives of science, business, politics and society. Selected aspects and trends such as digitalisation, globalisation or climate change can be discussed against the background of the demographic development to be expected. Connections between demographic developments in the areas of fertility, mortality or migration and social developments can also be addressed. Contributions on the consequences of demographic developments, e.g. on the labour or housing market, on social security systems, on the environment or on social coexistence are also welcome.|
|Family and fertility in Central and Eastern Europe - patterns of change, determinants, policy implications|
|Social and political upheavals have greatly influenced family forms and fertility behaviour, particular in Eastern Europe. Changes in the country's social and economic structures, changing government policies and traditional values, lifestyles and contraceptive availabilities all have a profound influence on family and fertility outcomes. In this session we would like to discuss these changes, especially by comparing family forms and fertility patterns in Eastern Europe with Central Europe.|
|Health and mortality in Central and Eastern Europe since 1990|
|Central and Eastern Europe, as well as East Germany, have experienced dramatic changes in health and mortality in the past few decades, influenced by the political changes. While constant progress in life expectancy in western European countries was seen, progress in eastern European countries stalled by the 1970s. By 1990, an enormous East-West gap existed. As a response to political changes, mortality in Central and Eastern Europe declined since the mid-1990s, but East-West differences are still considerable. We want to investigate the health and mortality developments Central and Eastern Europe and (East) Germany have experienced over the past decades and discuss its determinants. Abstracts on the following and related topics are welcome:|
How has health and mortality changed in CEE and (East) Germany and what determined these changes?
•Which countries show similar country or regional mortality patterns? How do countries compare with regard to other European countries?
•With regard to Germany: what lessons can be learned from health and mortality developments after the fall of the Berlin Wall? Are East-West comparisons still relevant?
•Which factors influenced health and mortality improvements and deteriorations over the past decades? What role do diseases, causes of death, welfare and health care systems and sociodemographic factors such gender or education play?
|Migration in Europe since 1990|
|We invite for presentations on migration in Europe since 1990, including description of time series or factors explaining migration processes, with a focus on the following countries using different data sets:|
•Migration, circular migration or return migration within EU countries, for example between Central and Eastern European countries, Southern European countries and Western European countries
•Migration from other parts of the world to European countries, especially during the refugee movement since 2011
|Partnership formation and dissolution in Central and Eastern Europe|
|Over the last decades, social change took place in many European countries. Marriage is no longer the marker of the first partnership union, children are increasingly being born outside of marriage, and life-long marriage has been eroded by divorce. Therefore, partnership formation and partnerships dynamics becomes much more complex over the life course. In this session presentations are welcome dealing with partnership formation and dissolution processes in Eastern and Central Europe.|
|Regional aspects of demographic change in Germany. Reflections of the German re-unification process.|
|The process of German re-unification has left its mark on the East German population structure in particular. This process, which was initially marked by extensive East-West migrations, was intensified by an extreme drop in the birth rates shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The result was widespread population losses in East Germany whereas the majority of West German regions have benefited from this immigration.|
By now, economic and social conditions in the East German regions have normalized. This applies to both internal migration and the birth rate. Life expectancy has increased notably since 1989, especially for women. As a result of the large influxes of immigrants from abroad, the East German regions have also become an appealing destination for these migrants, with the result that the proportion of foreigners, especially in the cities, is continually increasing.
All these processes were regionally differentiated. They have left deep footprints in the East German population structure, which will be perceptible for a long time to come. Today, when we are discussing about securing equal living conditions, we are talking above all about structurally weak, peripheral rural regions in the new Länder, where the challenges are concentrated, especially as a result of continuing population decline and a strongly deformed age and gender structure. Some eastern German cities, on the other hand, are once again realizing migration gains and have been able to stabilize their development. East-West migration has also returned to normal.
Contributions that apply for the session of the DGD working group "Cities and Regions" should above all show what diverse traces this demographic change has left in the regional context of Germany and how these changes affect the processes of economic, social, infrastructural and residential development.
Venue & Time: The conference will take place at the TU Dresden (von-Gerber-Bau, Bergstraße 53, 01069 Dresden) from 11-13 March 2020.
Abstracts: Deadline for submissions was 10 January 2020.
Registration is possible from 15 January to 29 February. You can register here.
Information for students: Students of demography or related disciplines are welcome to submit an abstract for a poster contribution. A limited amount of travel funds for students is available.