Situating India in the global reproductive industry



Publication Details

Mohanka, V. (2019). Situating India in the global reproductive industry. In V. Mackie, N. J. Marks & S. Ferber (Eds.), The Reproductive Industry: Intimate Experiences and Global Processes (pp. 31-49). Lanham: Lexington Books.


In this chapter, I trace the development of the reproductive services industry in India and situate it in the context of the global reproductive industry. All nation-states manage their populations in various ways, either through pronatalist policies which encourage reproduction, policies on population limitation, or policies which encourage or discourage reproduction in particular groups. Foucault's concepts of biopolitics and biopower have been employed by several scholars to analyze governments' control over populations through various mechanisms (Foucault 1978; Nadimpally, Marwah, and Shenoi 2011; Mackie 2014a). The concept of "repronationalism," whereby countries use reproductive policies to shape and express national identity, is also relevant (Franklin 2016; Franklin in this volume). Analytical concepts such as "repronational histories" and "repronational choreographies" are useful to understand patterns of "specific national events" in the context of assisted reproduction (Franklin and Inhorn 2016). Such concepts can be applied to the nature of state interventions in India, the regulation of reproductive services, and more recent attempts to shape national identity through the creation of a particular type of heteronormative family using reproductive technologies like IVF and, in some circumstances, surrogacy arrangements. Reproduction now takes place in a global frame, with intending parents crossing national borders to access gametes and reproductive services. This means that biopolitical interventions by particular governments also have repercussions across national borders, as we shall see below.

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