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

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It has been widely assumed that over-population is one of the root causes of global crisis; even amongst feminist and environmental movements, the common wisdom on population has never been seriously critiqued. This book provides that critique; 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' - exploring the roots of the einvronmental crisis, violence and inequality en route. Critiquing capitalism, industrialism, patriarchy and white supremacy, she shows how population control acts as another dimension of our essentially hierarchical world order - and one that is moving us inexorably towards violence and destruction. 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. A major contribution to the socio-historical analysis of population-poverty-environment relations, this book cuts across the North/South divide bringing to light the dialectics of gender, race and class on a global scale. As such it is essential reading for students and academics in women's, development and environment studies as well as in philosophy, social theory and courses on ethnic relations.