More Resources on Population Control

Date Published: July 15, 2006

In the Name of Development: Exploring Population, Poverty and Development
by Inter Pares

This pamphlet is an excellent refutation of the idea that population control is a development or anti?poverty strategy. It covers the topics of food security, environment, economic development, migration, and women's health and empowerment. Each section begins with some commonly held assumptions, followed by a list of provocative facts and statistics which challenge them. A critical analysis of each issue follows. This is an extremely useful tool for activists and teachers alike. Available from Inter Pares, 58 rue Arthur St., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1R 7B9; fax: 613-594-4704

Women, Population and Global Crisis: A Political-Economic Analysis
by Asoka Bandarage

It has been widely assumed that overpopulation is one of the root causes of global crisis, even among feminist and environmental movements. This book critiques the conventional wisdom on population. It gives a historical overview of the population question and places the population-poverty-environment-security debate within a broad theoretical perspective.

The first part of the book looks at conventional ideologies of population control -- from Malthusianism to the contraceptive revolution. In part two, the author develops an alternative analysis of 'overpopulation.' Critiquing capitalism, industrialism, patriarchy and white supremacy, she shows how population control acts as another dimension of our essentially hierarchical world order.

Finally, Asoka Bandarage explores new global visions and efforts towards peace, justice and ecology -- efforts that place human and planetary reproduction above economic production. Arguing for a new partnership paradigm which stresses the interconnectedness of life, the book's political significance lies in the synthesis of third world, feminist, socialist and ecological thinking and solutions. Available from Zed Books and St. Martin's Press.

The Poverty Factor: Poverty, Politics and Population in Capitalist Development
by Eric B. Ross. London and New York: Zed Books, 1998.

This book is a critical historical examination of the impact of Malthusian thinking from 19th century Britain and Ireland to the contemporary situation of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Ross illustrates how Malthusian thinking systematically ignores structural political and economic inequalities and obscures and rationalizes the aims of capitalist development. The result has not only been to blame the poor for poverty and environmental degradation, but to suggest that social movements representing them are incapable of improving society. Ross provides an in-depth analysis of the role of the US foreign policy establishment and addresses the current faces of Malthusianism, notably the assault on immigrants.