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    Too many bodies? The return and disavowal of the population question

    Coole, Diana (2013) Too many bodies? The return and disavowal of the population question. Environmental Politics 22 (2), pp. 195-215. ISSN 0964-4016.

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    Abstract

    During the 1960s and early 1970s population growth was regarded as an urgent environmental issue. Since then the topic has fallen into abeyance. Despite continuing demographic expansion and anxieties about a range of socio-ecological problems – from the stresses of high-density urban living to climate change, water, energy and food insecurity and loss of biodiversity – there is currently scant consideration of the benefits of population stabilisation or decline. Indeed, the problematisation of population numbers is widely disavowed or regarded with profound suspicion. Why have we become so reluctant to ask whether we are too many or to countenance policies that might discourage further growth? I identify five discourses – population-shaming, population-scepticism, population-declinism, population-decomposing and population-fatalism – that foreclose public debate and subject them to critical analysis. I end by eliciting signs of a hesitant revival of the population question alongside the enduring potency of silencing discourses.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): fertility, population, limits to growth, immigration, sustainability
    School: School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Politics
    Research Centres and Institutes: British Politics and Public Life, Centre for
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2013 11:53
    Last Modified: 07 Dec 2016 15:24
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/7307

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