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Carolin Heilig

ESR 1: Illiberal trends in incumbent parties and comparative democratic development in Central Europe (UCL)

Carolin Heilig graduated in 2017 with a BA in Political Science and Slavic Studies from the University of Tübingen, Germany, where she also worked as a research fellow at the university’s Institute of Political Science.During her undergraduate studies, she spent two semesters as an Erasmus student at Collegium Civitas in Warsaw, Poland, where she studied International Relations. During her time in Poland, she interned at the Warsaw office of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. In 2018 Carolin graduated from St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, where she studied Russian and East European Studies (MSc) at the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies and where her research focused on women’s rights activism in Poland. 

As an Early Stage Researcher on the FATIGUE programme, she researches the intersection of civil society with political parties in Central and Eastern Europe, with a special focus on Poland. Carolin is supervised by Jan Kubik and Seán Hanley at UCL and by Zdzisław Mach at Jagiellonian University.


Email: [email protected]


Work in Progress:

Re-claiming ‘the people’: Young feminist activists in Poland


  • “Gender in a Pillarized Society: A relational approach to contemporary illiberal politics in Poland”  at the Conference DVPW-Kongress, Deutsche Vereinigung für Politikwissenschaft [German Political Science Association] (16.09.2021)
  • “Gender in a Pillarized Society: A relational approach to contemporary illiberal and populist politics in Poland” at the ECPR General Conference, European Consortium for Political Research (30.08.2021)
  • “Civil Society in the Face of Pillarization: Insights from Krakow” at the Conference “Polish Studies Today and Tomorrow ”, School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES), UCL.
  • “The Mobilisation of „Europe“ by Polish Women’s Rights Activists. A case study of Reproductive Rights” at the Conference „Impacts of Gender Discourse on Polish Politics, Society & Culture”. 12.06.2018. University College London
  • “Re-claiming ‘the people’: Young feminist activists in Poland” at the conference European Conference on Politics and Gender. 06.07.2019. University of Amsterdam.

Graduate research workshops:

  • “Gender in a Pillarized Society: A relational approach to contemporary illiberal and populist politics in Poland” at the PhD CourseGender, Sexuality, and Populism. 03.12.2020. University of Helsinki

Workshops and invited presentations:

  • “Women’s Mobilisation in East and Central Europe”Centre for European Studies, Jagiellonian University Krakow. Guest presentation in MA course “Democracy, Identity and Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe” (06.12.2021)
  • “(Anti)-Demokratische Entwicklungen in Polen am Beispiel der Abtreibungsdebatte” [The Polish abortion debate in the light of (anti-) democratic developments in Poland]. AG Mittel- und Osteuropa des Evangelischen Studienwerks Villigst [Standing Group Central and Eastern Europe, Villigst Protestant Academic Foundation] Multidisciplinary webinar. Co-organiser and speaker. (10.12.2020)
  • “SSEESing NOW Abortion Crisis in Poland”. School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES), University College London. Panel discussion. Speaker (30.10.2020)
  • #nachgehakt: Polnische Präsidentschaftswahlen 2020 [#DiggingDeeper: Polish presidential elections in 2020]  Deutsche Gesellschaft für Osteuropakunde DGO e.V. [German Association for East European Studies]  Collaborative preparation and presentation (30.06.2020)


Blog posts:

Media Appearances: