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Population Control Bibliography


A bibliography of resources on population, human rights abuses, and the history of population control.



Cromartie, Michael (e.d.), The Nine Lives of Population Control, Grand Rapids (MI): Ethics and Public Policy Center and Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1995 (178 pp.)

In October of 1993 twenty-six scholars and practitioners gathered at a conference sponsored by the Ethics and Public Policy Center to discuss the following questions: Does our world have more people than it can sustain? If population rates continue to grow, will overpopulation be the cause of hunger, poverty and environmental degradation? Will we run out of resources? The responses from the conference make up the nucleus of this book. Contributors to this volume include Julian Simon, Nicholas Eberstadt, Amartya Sen, Karl Zinsmeister, Midge Decter, George Weigel and Gilbert Meilander.

Eberstadt, Nicholas, "Demography and International Relations," in The Washington Quarterly, Spring 1998, pp. 33-52.

Nicholas Eberstadt confronts the question of how to evaluate the role of population in international affairs. The true impact of population change in developing countries is not as clear as many have claimed. Depending on specific circumstances, rapid population growth can have positive as well as negative consequences. There is no clear-cut formula for predicting the impact of population growth on world politics. This article discusses these issues as they affect governmental policies, both foreign and domestic.

Eberstadt, Nicholas, "The Population Implosion," in The Wall Street Journal, Thursday October 16, 1997.

Mr. Eberstadt analyses the "depopulation" scenario posited by the United Nations Population Division, and the effects this will have in the future. This editorial examines the personal, social and financial implications of declining fertility and a decelerating population growth rate that will peak in 2050, and continue in a steady pattern of decline.

Mosher, Steven S., "Too Many People? Not by a Long Shot," in The Wall Street Journal, Monday, February 10, 1997.

The idea of current or impending overpopulation is false and the clearest proof of this is to look at the fertility rates among the developed and developing countries. Never have they been so low and never have they dropped so fast. Family planning programs have been coercive and are many times based on the use of bribes, targets and incentives. Not only women are targeted by these coercive measure but in many cases doctors and health care workers as well.

Drucker, Peter F., "The Future That Has Already Happened," in Harvard Business Review, Sept-Oct 1997, pp. 4-6

Peter F. Drucker prepares for the future by identifying major events that have already happened and have predictable effects. Drucker predicts that the dominant factor for business will be demographics: underpopulation, not overpopulation, will pose the greatest challenge to economists and businessmen in the future. Barring unforeseen changes in fertility trends, the underpopulation of developed countries is an accomplished fact, and we will all struggle with the social and economic consequences that follow.

Simon, Julian L., Population Matters, New Brunswick (NJ): Transaction Publishers, 1990 (577 pp.)

Julian Simon discusses the effects of population size upon living standards. His central messages are: Raw materials and energy are less scarce. The world's food supply is improving. Pollution in the U.S. has been decreasing. Population growth and immigration have long-term benefits. Simon challenges the doomsayers in this collection of essays, and explains why their beliefs are so widespread.

Simon, Julian L., The Ultimate Resource 2, Princeton: Princeton University Press 1996 (734 pp.)

The Ultimate Resource 2 is a revised and expanded edition of Julian Simon's The Ultimate Resource (1981), in which he argues that the ultimate resource is human intelligence. He challenges popular beliefs about the scarcity of energy and natural resources, about the effects of immigration and about overpopulation with comprehensive data, quantitative research and economic statistics. This comprehensive text gives a clear explanation of the effect of population growth upon our resources and living standards.

Bailey, Ronald (ed.), The True State of the Planet, New York: The Free Press 1995 (470 pp.)

Vital questions such as "Why are reserves of oil, precious metals and other natural resources more plentiful than ever? Why has the population growth of the twentieth century brought rising standards of living?" have led ten of the world's top environmental researchers to re-examine the fundamental beliefs of the environmentalists, and come up with startling conclusions. The essays in this book shatter contemporary myths about overpopulation, agriculture, food, income, global warming and resources. They conclude that there are more urgent problems, such as those of fisheries, fresh water, third world pollution and the political causes behind them, with which environmentalists should be concerned.

Wattenberg, Ben, "The Population Explosion is Over," in The New York Times Magazine, Nov. 23, 1997, pp. 60-63.

The alarming notion of overpopulation is now being turned on its head.

Never before have fertility rates fallen so low and for so long around the world. World population is still growing, but will peak much sooner and at a much lower number than was long expected. The environmental, economic, geopolitical and personal implications of this are unclear and are only now beginning to be studied.

Pritchett, Lant H., "Desired Fertility and the Impact of Population Policies," in Population and Development Review, Vol.20 (no.1), March 1994 (pp.1-55)

There are two common views as to why fertility rates vary: the first claims that fertility rates correspond to the availability of family planning, the second claims that fertility rates correspond directly to parental desires. Lant H. Pritchett analyses these view and argues that contraceptive access is not a dominant factor in determining fertility differences. Rather, 90% of the differences in total fertility rates across countries are accounted for solely by differences in women's reported desired fertility.

Becker, Gary S. and Becker, Guity Nashat, The Economics of Life, The McGraw Hill Companies, Inc. 1997.

In The Economics of Life, the Beckers cover a wide range of social issues. Among the 138 essays that make up this volume, Nobel prize winner Gary Becker dedicates several to population and population related issues. These include:

  • "Why the Third World Should Stress the Three R's" (1994) p.67
  • "Housework: The Missing Piece of the Economic Pie" (1995) p.127
  • "Let's Diffuse the Population Bomb - with Free Markets" (1994) p.287
  • "On Global Warming, Let the Coolest Heads Prevail" (1992) p. 289
  • "The Hot Air Inflating the Greenhouse Effect" (1991) p.290
  • "The Prophets of Doom Have a Dismal Record" (1986) p. 292


Akhter, Farida, Resisting Norplant. Women's Struggle in Bangladesh Against Co-ercion and Violence, Dhaka (Bangladesh): Narigrantha Prabartana 1995 (142 pp.).

In 1985 Bangladesh became the site of a pre-introductory clinical trial of Norplant. The "trial" was implemented through a policy of coercion, violence and unethical science. Soon after the initiation of the trial, women's groups and active individuals began their struggle against this coercion and violence, and over the years Bangladeshi women have built up a history of resistance. Farida Akhter documents this history in a chronological sequence and stresses its importance for the international women's health movement.

Mintzes, Barbara; Hardon, Anita and Hanhart, Jannemieke (ed.), Norplant: Under her Skin, Delft (The Netherlands): Eburon 1993 (122 pp.).

Norplant: Under Her Skin contains six articles that describe the use of Norplant in Indonesia, Finland, Thailand, Brazil and Egypt. The articles tell about the experience of women from these different societies with Norplant and how this long-acting contraceptive has affected their well-being, sexuality and daily life. It appraises Norplant from the perspective of a woman's overall emotional health, social life and sense of well-being, and arrives at a conclusion at odds with the "medical" perspective that dominates the discussion of this drug.

Hartmann, Betsy, Reproductive Rights & Wrongs: The Global Policies of Population Control, Boston: South End Press 1995 (388 pp.).

Feminist Betsy Hartmann provides clear explanations and information on the link between population and development, on how population control advocates have appropriated feminist and environmental language, and on the internationalization of anti-abortion movements, AIDS and contraceptive research, immigration and the environmental movement. Hartmann argues that rapid population growth is a symptom, rather than a cause, of problematic economic and social development. She further argues that the world population control movement is hostile to the true needs of women, and exploits the issue of women's rights to achieve its ends.

Hartmann, Betsy and Standing, Hilary, Food, Saris and Sterilization. Population Control in Bangladesh, London: BIAG Ltd. 1985 (43 pp.).

In Bangladesh, population control has become an intensely political issue, involving a full scale attack on the urban and rural poor. After giving a short history of population control in Bangladesh, the link between food aid and Bangladesh's sterilization campaign is uncovered. The book describes the coercive incentive system which is used, how women are given the choice to be sterilized or starve and how the concern with population control has diverted attention and resources from maternal and child health services. The idea that overpopulation is at the root of Bangladesh's problems is questioned, arguing that the problems are due to underdevelopment and inequality.

Whelan, Robert, Whose Choice: Population Controllers' or Yours?, London: Committee on Population and the Economy 1992 (36 pp.)

The widespread alarm which has been caused by the growth in world population has led to programs to reduce birthrates in many developing countries.

These programs are implemented in the name of women's health and freedom of choice in matters of family size. However, there are serious questions as to how free Third World parents really are if they want to have more than the officially permitted number of children. Programs to limit population growth in the Third World involve propaganda, the use of bribes and threats, peer group pressure and even physical coercion in a way which would no be acceptable to the Western taxpayers who fund them.

Kasun, Jacqueline, The War Against Population, San Francisco: Ignatius Press 1988 (225 pp.).

Dr. Kasun shatters the false dogmas that humanity is multiplying at an unsustainable rate and that unless population is controlled by every governmental and private method, mankind will face disaster. She explains the history of the population control movement , reveals the false economics and the model ideology behind population control, the false claims of "sex education", and U.S. governmental involvement in family planning around the world.

Mosher, Steven S., "In Peru, Women Lose the Right to Choose More Children," in The Wall Street Journal, Friday, February 27, 1998.

Steven W. Mosher describes the massive sterilization campaign implemented by the government of President Alberto Fujimori. Coercion, targets, bribes and threats are all part of the procedure of the campaign, leaving women deprived of their fundamental right to chose more children.

The Lancet, "Women in the world" (editorial), Vol. 346 (no. 8969), July 22, 1995, p.195

Words such as "equality" and "empowerment" for women are commonly stated in population programs. But the question "Equality and empowerment of what?" is raised when reproductive needs are placed at the top of the international health agenda. This editorial makes the claim that the ideals of "gender equality" and "women's empowerment" have become the social tools by which the U.N. intends to meet its population control quotas. It raises questions about the fundamental assumptions grounding the reproductive health and family planning movement. It decries what it calls the "new colonialism" of the international women's health agenda, and its reduction of equality to the right to reproductive health.


Hodgson, Dennis and Cotts Watkins, Susan, "Feminists and Neo-Malthusians: Past and Present Alliances," in Population and Development Review 23 (3): September 1997, pp. 469-523.

Feminists and neo-Malthusians are neither natural allies nor natural opponents but occasionally there have been big similarities in their immediate goals. The relationship these two groups have had throughout history, their early alliances, divisions and ideologies is looked at carefully, as well as the present status of this relationship.

Kasun, Jacqueline, The War Against Population, San Francisco: Ignatius Press 1988 (225 pp.). (Currently being undated)

Dr. Kasun shatters the false dogmas that humanity is multiplying at an unsustainable rate and that unless population is controlled by every governmental and private method, mankind will face disaster. She explains the history of the population control movement , reveals the false economics and the model ideology behind population control, the false claims of "sex education", and U.S. governmental involvement in family planning around the world.



Compiled by Population Research Institute, P.O. Box 1559, Front Royal, VA 22630 (540) 622-5240


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Copyright © 1997 New York Times Magazine
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