Betsy Hartmann & Kay Johnson
In the last century the world experienced a rapid increase in population growth, giving rise to fears of “overpopulation.” Today, these fears persist even as birth rates decline around the globe. Population remains a controversial issue, the subject of theoretical and political debates which cut across traditional categories of Right and Left. How one understands the population problem has profound consequences for social policy. This course will examine population from many different angles. Topics include: basic demographic dynamics; the relationship of population growth to poverty, the environment and security; population and climate change; the history of the population establishment; the immigration debate; family planning and population control; contraceptive controversies; and new fears of a population “implosion.” There will be an in-depth case study of China’s population policies.