Population and Development

Law, Poverty and Development
III year III Trimester
B.A. Ll.B. (Hons.)

Population and Development
Achieving a consensus

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Submitted By:
Subhang Nair
ID No. 1612

Date of Submission: 30th May, 2010

National Law School of India University
Bangalore

Table of Contents

Introduction 2
Population and Development: Theoretical Paradigms 3
The Malthusian Theory 4
The Marxist Theory 5
Neo-malthusian Theory 7
Population and development-The Geopolitical angle: 9
Population and Development: Evolving a Consensus 13
India and China-A Case Study 14
Conclusion 18
Bibliography 19

Introduction

???The hungry world cannot be fed until and unless the growth of its resources and the growth of its population come into balance. Each man and woman-and each nation-must make decisions of conscience and policy in the face of this great problem.??? This quote, by the American ex-President Lyndon Johnson, best summarizes the inter-linkage between population and development. In this hungry world we live in, facing food shortages and energy crises, the word ???population??™ itself is viewed with apprehension and the word ???development??™ with a sense of hope. However, are these two concepts fundamentally antagonistic Does a growing population necessarily impede governance If so, what decisions of ???conscience and policy??? ought to be made to resolve the same

India, let alone the rest of the world, is faced with what one might call a population crisis. With our population, our hunger has grown but not our means to satisfy it. Population and its inter-linkage with development has become a subject which requires serious study. This paper attempts to present such a study of the dynamics of population and development, examining the causal and consequential relationships these terms have towards each other and attempting to understand how best to deal with population growth in order to achieve development.

The paper is divided into three parts. The first chapter analyzes the various theories dealing with the concept of population and development. It examines the postulations of each theory and the proposals put forth by the same. The second chapter examines the issue from a geopolitical angle. It examines the more practical aspects of population and development, examining how the international community has attempted to deal with the same. It examines the various conferences and programmes dealing with the same and their fates in light of the political attitudes towards the issue around the world. It thus attempts to provide a holistic picture of the idea of population and development. The final chapter focuses on a more incisive analysis attempting to identify the best approach adoptable in dealing with the issue. It examines the varying experiences of two nations-India and China, which have experienced the problem at a scale greater than any other nation, and the lessons that can be learnt from the same. The paper thus seeks to define the inter-linkage between population and development and to recommend the best approach to adopt towards achieving sustainable development in this regard.

Population and Development: Theoretical Paradigms

The issue of population and development has been the subject of intense theoretical debate. The varied theories explaining the inter-linkage between the two concepts is, perhaps the best example of the confusion prevalent over the issue. This section of the paper examines the various theories dealing with population and development, analyzing the observations made by the major proponents of each theory and assessing the proposals made. The following are the principal theories dealing with the issue:
The Malthusian Theory:
The Problem: The Naturalist theory of population and development, propounded by Malthus in his Essay on the Principle of Population, pointed out the disparity between the growth of the population and the means of subsistence. He observed that, unless otherwise checked, it is the natural tendency of population to increase geometrically by doubling almost every 25 years, whereas food production can at best increase arithmetically at a small constant rate over that produced initially.[1] He believed that man??™s ability to increase his food supply was constrained by three factors: land scarcity, the limited production capacity of cultivated land, and the law of diminishing returns.[2] However, the population would continue to grow geometrically as man??™s ???natural desire to perpetuate his race??™ would ensure that he procreated.[3] Therefore, he theorized that the demand would ultimately over-take the supply in absolute terms. This was the problem envisaged by Malthus.
The Solution: Malthus, however, upheld the idea of a ???population optimum??™ where human numbers would be held in balance with supply.[4] However, he did not advocate the use of contraception or other birth control mechanisms as a means of achieving the population optimum. As a clergyman, he was critical of abortion and the like, and suggested moral restraint and prolonged celibacy coupled with chastity.[5]
Malthus, instead, viewed two possible approaches that could solve the problem of uncontrolled growth in population: preventative and positive checks.[6] Preventative checks involved the use of different methods to control birth, using not artificial means but man??™s natural reason.[7] This involved a ???virtuous??™ abstention from marriage, particularly amongst the working classes. This preventative check of ???moral restraint??™ would ensure slower population growth. Positive checks, on the other hand, meant natural checks on population and it would include all the causes which tend in any way prematurely to shorten the duration of human life, such as natural disasters, disease, accidents, wars, famines etc.[8] These checks, in various combinations, form the immediate causes which keep the population on a level with the means of subsistence
Criticism: However, the theory, though classical and path-breaking in its conception, also reveals several flaws when subjected to a closer analysis. Malthius considered mainly the limitation of land supply, and thought that this limitation is constant and unsurmountable. He failed to foresee the development of technology, extension of cultivable area, international trade, and potential of changing social organizations. In fact, his theory is often criticized as being far too pessimistic, denying human potential and insisting that human beings are powerless in the face of nature and their interventions cannot prevent the inevitable dwindling of resources due to a rising population.[9]

Thus, for him, the population problem is essentially one of balance between people and resources (mainly land).[10] Since population grows rapidly over the limited resources, poverty and underdevelopment would inevitably increase. The Malthusian view, that overpopulation is the main cause for the poverty of the masses and underdevelopment of the societies, is more or less uncritically adhered to by the ardent advocates of population control.[11] They refuse to penetrate the deeper issues concerning the mutually contradictory elements in production relations; and they totally ignore the facts of colonial and neo-colonial exploitation.[12] As a result, very often, the bogey of rising population is used to obfuscate the contradictions in society, to create an ideological hegemony justifying the prevailing moribund institutions and the dominant social classes.
The Marxist Theory:
The Problem: The Marxist theory of population and development developed in response to the Malthusian theory. Marx and Engels insisted that it is impossible to speak of any generally applicable law of population, which is the same for all times and all places. They argued that trends in population growth were influenced by a variety of factors which depended on the structure and ideologies in a society.[13] They expounded that these factors would consist of features such as the productive forces, the relations of production in the society, the laws about morality, the policies of the government, political and other ideas held commonly in that society, religion, and even the geographical environment.[14] It was the inequality in these factors which lead to the underdevelopment of a group of people who consequently gave birth to more children in order to use the children??™s skills to improve their status. Therefore, the Marxist theory postulated that the population trends depended on a large number of factors which would differ from one society to another, varying with time and place.[15]
The Solution: The Marxist theory also conflicted with the Malthusian theory in its exploration of possible solutions to the problem of population. Marx considered the solution not to be measures aimed towards ensuring a lower rate of population growth as a need to change the modes of production.[16] He argued that in a capitalist system, when a certain region or a certain business profits, there is a migration of workers into that place. This then leads to relative overpopulation and consequently, underdevelopment in those regions also.[17] For example, if a city like Mumbai were to develop more than a village, the villagers would migrate to the city seeking more lucrative opportunities. However, the migration would lead to over-population in the city soon causing a deficit of natural resources in that region also. The solution envisaged by Marx was to efficiently distribute the population through well-planned modes of production which a communist system would entail.[18]
Criticism: Hence, the Marxist theory saw the problem as one caused due to a lack of proper planning rather than a natural phenomenon. However, Marx only laid down the basic ideas of the theory and did not substantiate his conclusions with evidence.[19] After Marx, there was a dearth of scholarly writing on the issue of population and development from a Marxist theory. As a result, the theory did not develop past its basic tenets laid down by Marx.
Neo-malthusian Theory:
The Problem: With the development of technology and the idea of renewable resources, a new, modified stream of the Malthusian theory has emerged known as the neo-malthusian theory. The proponents of this theory argue that the present unprecedented rate of population growth tends to stress upon the society??™s natural resources and results in diminishing returns from them.[20] In this situation, to generate new resources or to create economic growth through other sectors, more investment is required. However, such investment becomes impossible as the growth of population means more infants who are dependent on the working members of the family, resulting in diminishing savings. In the absence of sufficient savings, the society becomes unable to find investment.[21] Thus, ultimately, economic growth and social development will be obstructed by the rapid rising population.
The Solution: The neo-malthusians advocate deliberate measures to check over-population through which a healthy growth of population can be maintained which would allow for sustainable development.[22] They also followed the concept of an ???optimum population??™ which entail a population which, in balance with the available resources and the existing level of technology, would produce the highest level of living. It was on the basis of this conception that the ideas of ???over-population??™ and ???under-population??™ were conceived.[23] The theory has gained widespread support and is the most widely-propagated theory of population and development.
Criticism: The Neo-Malthusian theory suffered from similar flaws as the Malthusian as it also assumed that man is limited by the resources he possesses and, as per the law of diminishing returns, the resources will soon run out. It fails to consider man??™s capacity to adapt and innovate. The theory fails to consider phenomena such as renewable resources, genetically modified food etc. In its approach, the neo-malthusian theory improves over its predecessor in that it recognizes direct birth control mechanisms as a solution where the conservative Malthus doesn??™t. However, whether direct mechanisms are actually the solution is examined in greater detail in the final chapter.

The preceding examination of the existent theories relating population and development reveals a dominance of the Malthusian and neo-malthusian theories, which stem from the same basis, that propound a direct co-relation between population and development, with the former being an impediment to latter directly and indirectly. Although the Marxist theory offers some sort of a counter, it remained an underdeveloped idea which failed to strengthen the arguments it rested on. This view that population is the biggest impediment to development had widespread effects on policy-making around the world. For example, in a 1973 speech, former World Bank President Robert S. McNamara compared population growth to nuclear conflict stating that ???The greatest single obstacle to the economic and social advancement of the majority of peoples in the underdeveloped world is rampant population growth??¦The threat of unmanageable population pressures is much like the threat of nuclear war??¦Both threats can and will have catastrophic consequences unless they are dealt with rapidly and rationally???.[24] Indeed, the reasoning of the Neo-malthusian theory does seem to rest on a sound basis although it over-simplifies the problem as one of a mere shortage of resources and adopts a pessimistic approach. However, the theory captures the core of the population problem which shall be examined in greater detail in the final chapter using models put forth by several thinkers like Amartya Sen.

However, recent developments have resulted in some sort of a re-look at the idea of population and development. The foremost amongst these was the World Bank??™s 1984 World Development Report which concluded that the negative impact of population growth is not nearly as great as the Malthusian theories claimed.[25] The report has inspired a re-look at population policies around the world and the two main issues of the population debate: 1) whether population is indeed the major cause of underdevelopment and 2) whether direct birth control measures are the best way to control population. The next section of the paper analyses the geopolitical debate over these issues, attempting to resolve the debate by evolving international consensus on the issue.

Population and development-The Geopolitical angle:

The international community, over the last five decades has formally recognized the importance of the population and development discourse. The first international population conferences, in Rome (1954) and Belgrade (1965) were pioneering attempts at evolving a co-relation between population and development, especially in poor countries.[26] However, these conferences had little practical significance in evolving an international consensus as they were attended primarily by technical experts like demographers and had no governmental representation.[27] However, by the 1970s, the rapid increases in population lead to over-population being viewed as a major concern, not only for developing countries, but for the international community at large.[28] These concerns culminated in the 1974 World Population Conference in Bucharest.

The conference, which had widespread representation from both developing and developed countries, marked the beginning of the geopolitical wrangling over the issue of population control mechanisms. Where industrialized nations believed that population control mechanisms were a necessary pre-condition to development, the majority of third world nations were reluctant to adopt such anti-natalist approaches, supporting the Marxist-tinged ideology that ???development is the best contraceptive???.[29] In essence, where the former argued that uncontrolled population growth is an obstacle to development, the latter saw socio-economic development as the most effective way to control population.

The conference resulted in a shaky consensus wherein several developing countries agreed to adopt population control mechanisms. The debate was thus considered closed until the US National Research Council published a report which concluded that macroeconomic development was not affected significantly by population dynamics.[30] This resulted in the US government reconsidering its population policies and soon advocating a position of inclusive development which would automatically regulate the growth of population. It was recognized that population growth was not the primary cause of the major constraints to Third World development.[31] Following this, international debate once against gained momentum with the US now supporting the indirect approach. Thus, by the 1990s, the large series of international population conferences and the different plans and programmes which they proposed had all but negated any chance of international consensus on the issue.[32] States began advocating the need for a simple, common framework. The International Conference on Population and Development was a watershed event in the history of population and development initiatives. Where it had seen population as a problem of numbers, the international community now viewed the issue through a holistic perspective, recognizing that issues like ???population, poverty, patterns of production and consumption and the environment are closely inter-connected???.[33]

UNFPA seeks to strengthen understanding of the links between population and development, and supports national capacity to collect and use population data for policies and programmes that will improve sexual and reproductive health, reduce poverty and inequality, and contribute to sustainable development. UNFPA assists countries to gather information about, track and analyse population trends in order to create and manage sound policies and generate the political will to appropriately address both current and future population needs.[34] The Conference, in essence, recognized that attempts to slow population growth, to reduce poverty, to achieve economic progress, to improve environmental protection, and to reduce unsustainable consumption and production patterns are mutually reinforcing. The ICPD, therefore, advocated a far-reaching population programme involving measures aimed at stabilizing population growth. These included universal primary education, guaranteeing reproductive rights (freedom to decide on the number, spacing and timing of their children), reduction of infant mortality and maternal mortality, access to better reproductive health services like family planning, education of women, protection for women from unsafe abortion services and to achieve an evenly-distributed population by addressing the root causes of migration (poverty, unemployment, armed conflicts in certain areas etc).[35] Thus, the ICPD recommended a Programme of Action which attempted to stabilize population growth through sustainable, socio-economic development mechanisms.

Millennium Development Goals:
The ICPD??™s programme indeed proposed a comprehensive model to stabilizing population growth and achieving development. However, despite this and the vital nature of the issue, there has been a failure to reach any international consensus on the issue. There are two primary reasons which can be identified for this lack of consensus regarding the population issue:
? Disparities in Resource Consumption Patterns: Developed countries, which constitute only one-fifth of the global population, consume two-thirds of its resources. Developing countries have argued that they have been placed at a disadvantage resulting in their poverty and subsequently high infant mortality, shorter average life spans, and increased susceptibility to epidemics owing to lack of adequate healthcare.[36] They, therefore, seek to offset these disadvantages through a higher birth rate. However, without adequate investment and technology, their resources have only been further reduced due to overuse and commercial exploitation, resulting in a vicious cycle of poverty.[37]

? Religious Sensitivities: Another reason for the failure to achieve consensus on this issue has been that population control, which involves a number of controversial issues like contraceptives, family-planning, abortion rights etc, often runs amuck of religious sensitivities. As a result, the ICPD has often faced the ire of religious heads and resistance from the nations where they wield power. One example of this can be seen in a message that Pope John Paul II sent to the director of the UN Population Fund, just prior to the ICPD, where he stated that ???The Church stands opposed to the imposition of limits on family size, and to the promotion of methods of limiting births???.[38] Similar instances of religious heads exerting their influence to prevent such population programmes from being implemented abound in the geopolitical arena.

Following the ICPD framework, the population debate has become more sensitive as progressive nations, who have sound scientific backing for their argument, have began pushing conservative governments to compromise upon their moral and religious beliefs for the greater good. As a result, population has become an increasingly disputed topic, and consequently has been all but pushed off the international agenda. This cautious approach that came to be adopted with respect to population-related issues was best exemplified in the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development wherein the issue of population and development was relegated to a ???side event???, discussed only in passing.[39] Indeed population issues have been conspicuously ignored in the Millennium Development Goals, which were considered a checklist to achieve development in the coming era, as they were considered too controversial to attain consensus.[40]
Population policy, however, plays a vital role in the achievement of these goals. This inter-linkage was best-emphasized in a 2008 report presented by the Director of the UN Population Division which noted that total fertility, that is, the average number of children per woman, in the less developed regions (LDRs) dropped dramatically between the late 1968 and 2008, passing from 6.0 children per woman to 2.8 children per woman in four decades.[41] The report further noted that these less developed regions alone would have 9.4 billion inhabitants today if fertility had remained constant, the difference between that number and their actual population in 2008 being 3.7 billion.[42] The main reason attributable to such a drastic decrease in fertility levels and, subsequently, population growth are dedicated population policies, especially family planning which took root during this period. It is undeniable that the task of achieving the MDGs would have been considerably more formidable had there been an extra 3.7 billion people in the less developed regions. Thus, population policy presents not only a crucial, but an indispensable aspect of the MDGs.
However, there is yet much to be done. Further decrease in total fertility can be achieved if more countries adopted effective population programmes. It has also been recognized that rapid population growth is increasing water demand at a pace that is outstripping countries abilities to meet the Millennium Development Goals.[43] Indeed, ex-UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan himself stated that ???The Millennium Development Goals??¦cannot be achieved if questions of population and reproductive health are not squarely addressed.???[44] An analysis of the issue of population and development from a geopolitical angle leads one to two conclusions: first, that the ICPD has largely succeeded in achieving a comprehensive approach to resolving the issue of uncontrolled population growth and achieving sustainable development and second, despite the existence of such a comprehensive framework, the issue, which is progressively worsening, cannot be resolved until an international consensus is reached.

Population and Development: Evolving a Consensus

The population debate essentially revolves around two issues. The first issue is whether uncontrolled population growth poses a threat to development. The previous chapters of this paper have concluded that it indeed does present an obstacle in the path to development. Although the Neo-malthusian theory might be flawed, it is accurate in its analysis that if population growth is not controlled, resources would be severely depleted. The second issue that arises is regarding the methods that could be used to control population growth. This issue has failed to achieve consensus in the intellectual debates and in international politics. This section of the paper attempts to resolve this issue through a case study of two approaches to population control, the authoritarian, government-centered approach adopted in China and the Indian model. It attempts to assess these differing methods, thus deciding upon the superior approach to population control.
India and China-A Case Study:
This study compares and contrasts the Indian and Chinese approaches to the issue of population control, analyzing the merits and demerits of each approach. The approaches adopted towards population control vary from direct measures like the “one-child policy” in China, and in India in the mid-1970s to a variety of indirect approaches such as policies that disqualify parents of two or more children from receiving certain public benefits such as free healthcare or housing (providing ???tied??™ services). This has occurred in several countries, including China and some north Indian states. The most-commonly used forms capitalize on people??™s lack of choice by offering them substantial financial benefits in exchange for undergoing a sterilization procedure, sometimes without even obtaining their informed consent regarding the procedure.[45] On the other hand, a collaborative, people-centered approach attempts to stabilize population growth through the empowerment of the persons directly involved and by increasing their freedoms, especially reproductive freedom.

The primary advantage of the direct approach is that it prima facie ensures better results. In the short-run at least, the policies of the Chinese government have been seen to reveal much better results that India or any other country attempting population control.[46] By 1992, within 13 years of commencing direct control measures, China??™s Total Fertility Rate stood at 2.0-the ???replacement level???, where the population growth becomes static as the births and deaths nearly offset each other, much below Indias TFR of 3.7 and the average TFR, 4.9, of low-income countries like China and India.[47] Thus, China??™s aggressive policy would seem to have higher payoffs than other nation??™s, particularly India??™s.

However, as with any policy stand, the direct control approach is also plagued by its own flaws. China, which has been adopting direct methods of population control since the reforms of 1979, has resorted to increasingly-aggressive policies to control population. The methods, as examined, have achieved the results they set out to. However, the measure of a policy is not whether it achieves its goals, but whether the change it has brought in society is for the better. In this respect, the Chinese model also reveals a few flaws in its approaches. The following are the primary disadvantages of adopting the ???China??™ model:
? The primary criticism of the Chinese model has been regarding the fact that it entails the deprivation of several fundamental freedoms. People are deprived of their reproductive rights, no longer possessing the right to choose the number of children they can have and when.[48] Although such restrictions, by themselves, may be justified on the basis of necessity, the consequences of the same raise questions regarding the efficacy of the policy.
? Restrictions, when imposed on people??™s rights, must be reasonable and proportionate. It is, when assessed with these criteria that the Chinese model falters. The methods that have been employed, such as denying housing benefits to families which have more children, punish not only the parents, but also the children involved.[49] The children are often worst affected by the government??™s stringent policy as their parents are placed in direr straits and they are often deprived of basic amenities. Moreover, in a nation where male children are favoured over female, a characteristic of India and China, a policy of ???one family one child??? can prove extremely detrimental to the female child as girls would be brutally neglected by the parents who wanted a boy. This phenomenon has been witnessed in China in an increasing scale.[50] Thus, the children often end up the casualties of the compulsions placed on the populace.
? The ultimate flaw in the Chinese model arises as a consequence of these restrictions. The social costs of such an authoritarian model can be extremely high as an unsatisfied population left with no choices would only react in the most violent of ways.[51] Although China has always suppressed voices of dissent, this might no longer be possible because of a globalized world where China is in the sights of every human rights organization. Hence, it is only a matter of time before Chinese society resents the authoritarian stance of the government and rises against it.

Thus, the Chinese model is undeniably plagued with more than its share of flaws. However, these criticisms are all subject to one??™s personal predilections regarding individual rights and the need to restrict it in the face of necessity. However, the one question which would shake the foundations of the so-called Chinese model is to what extent have the coercive measures really aided in controlling population growth. This question arises on account of Chinas longstanding social and economic programmes that have been played a role in reducing fertility, ensuring better education opportunities, education programmes for women, nearly-universal healthcare facilities and women??™s empowerment through increased job opportunities for women and stimulated rapid economic growth.[52] It is undeniably true that these factors have played a major role in the success of the Chinese model and it was not an exclusively coercive system. There is consensus on the idea that authoritarian intervention and bureaucratic denial of reproductive freedom are not the only routes to lower fertility, and reduction can occur with shifts in decisional procedures within the family.[53] Thus, the time has come to question to undue credit given to the direct approach.

This section of the paper examines a collaborative model of population control, analyzing the results it has achieved without resorting to coercion. The case of Kerala, the most socially advanced state in India, presents an interesting case study in this regard because of its remarkable success in fertility reduction based on womens agency. Kerala fertility rate has fallen below the “replacement level” to 1.8 and is now even lower than Chinas fertility rate of 2.0.[54] There is considerable evidence that Keralas high level of female education has been particularly influential in bringing about the decline in birth rate, from 44 per thousand in 1951-1961 to 18 by 1991.[55] Furthermore, it has also been observed that the role played by women in Kerala??™s society and the important role which women play along with the increased female literacy rate would have been instrumental in reducing the mortality rate, thus reducing the birth rate also.[56] Kerala also has some other favourable features for womens empowerment and agency, including a greater recognition, by legal tradition, of womens property rights for a substantial and influential part of the community. It is also necessary to examine the claim in support of compulsory birth control programmes that the speed with which fertility rates can be cut down through coercive means is very high; in contrast, the voluntary processes are expected to be inherently slower. The world, we are told, does not have the time to spare. But this piece of generalization is not supported by Keralas experience either.[57] Despite the added “advantage” of the one-child policy and other coercive measures, the Chinese fertility rate seems to have fallen more slowly than in Kerala. Another example in Tamil Nadu, where the fertility rate fell even faster.

The dangers of an authoritarian population programme like China??™s in a democratic set-up was first realized by India during the emergency years in the middle 1970s. The Indira Gandhi government embarked on a more aggressive approach through various rules and regulations that forced family control measures, particularly in the irreversible form of sterilization, often of women.[58] Even though the government did not have as harsh a policy as China??™s, administrators at various levels often resorted to measures as harsh as China??™s in order to achieve their family planning targets.[59] These tactics ranged from oral threats, making sterilization a condition of eligibility for anti-poverty programmes, depriving mothers of more than two children of maternity benefits, reserving certain kinds of health care services to persons who have been sterilized, and forbidding persons who have more than two children from contesting panchayat elections. Even the governments draft National Population Policy of the time, despite placing emphasis on the need to reject coercive methods, had given support to this indirectly-coercive system. The government sought to justify this on the basis that in a poor country, faced with rampant over-population, such coercive measures are necessary.[60]

However, succumbing to the temptation of adopting an authoritarian approach, with respect to population control and to governance in general, proved fatal to the Indira Gandhi government as it was overwhelmingly defeated in the following general elections. The impoverished electorate of India chose to vote against the authoritarian regime and the deprivation of their rights and civil liberties. Thus, it would seem that the best, practical check of an over-aggressive population programme is the democratic judgment of the people exercised during elections. Moreover, even collaborative population control programmes in India suffered a severe set-back from the compulsory sterilization approach that had been adopted, since people had become deeply suspicious of the entire family-planning movement.[61] Indeed, this is the test of any government policy-how well it can balance the needs and the wants of the people. In this respect, the Chinese government has a luxury that the Indian government does not-a lack of control over them by the general electorate. Indeed, this was what disabled direct population control measures in India, and allowed the government to innovate through new ones as in Kerala, Tamil Nadu or Goa.

Conclusion

The issue of population growth and its effects on development has been the subject of debate amongst scholars and policy makers for centuries now. It is also one of the most vital issues regarding human development. Despite this, the failure to attain a consensus on how to deal with the issue in political and academic circles is the best indicator of how complex an issue the question of population and development is. The Malthusian and, subsequently, the Neo-malthusian concepts of population and development have held stead for decades now. Indeed, the Neo-malthusian philosophy is somewhat flawed in its pessimistic approach. However, the analysis, though prima facie simple, is based on sound reasoning. The first chapter of this paper has examined how the issue of population and development, though not as simple as in the eyes of the neo-malthusians, basically revolves around the neo-malthusian analysis.

However, even if a theoretical paradigm can be drawn for the population problem, achieving international consensus seems an insurmountable obstacle. Nations, divided by religion and economic policies, have failed to achieve any uniform mechanism of tackling this global issue. However, as globalization corrodes religious and economic divides, a consensus might soon be achieved in the near future. This belief is further strengthened by the case study comparing the Indian and Chinese experiences in population control. Although China has experienced more success over-all, its methods are fundamentally flawed and unsuitable for a democracy as proven during the emergency period in India. The Kerala model, however, holds greater promise, achieving more than the Chinese model without coercion. It would seem that the conclusive superiority of a collaborative, people-centered approach would help generate international consensus on its use to resolve this global issue. Thus, this would be the best method ???in conscience and in policy??? to achieve the balance which we vitally need.

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[1] W. Petersen, ???Malthus and the Intellectuals???, 5(3) Population and Development Review at 477, 469 (Sept., 1979).
[2] J.C. Welling, ???The Law of Malthus???, 1(1) American Anthropologist at 23, 1 (Jan., 1888).
[3] ???Malthus and his Work???, 6(151) Science at 568, 567 (Dec. 25, 1885).
[4] A.W. Tourgee, ???The Reversal of Malthus???, 2(1) American Journal of Sociology at 24, 13 (July, 1896).
[5] J. Pathy, ???Population and Development???, 11(30) Economic and Political Weekly at 1127, 1125 (July 24, 1976)
[6] Supra. Note 4 at 76.
[7] M. Jefferson, ???Looking Back at Malthus???, 15(2) Geographical Review at 186, 177 (Apr., 1929).
[8] Id.
[9] J.J. Spengler, ???Was Malthus Right???, 33(1) Southern Economic Journal at 25, 17 (July, 1966).
[10] O. Steiger, ???Understanding the Rationale behind the Malthusian Theory of Population???, 11(2) European Demographic Information Bulletin at 75, 72 (1980).
[11] D.J. Loschsky, ???Economic Change, Mortality and Malthusian Theory???, 30(3) Population Studies at 452, 439 (Nov., 1976).
[12] Supra. Note 5 at 1128.
[13] J.W. Brackett, ???The Evolution of Marxist Theories of Population: Marxism Recognizes the Population Problem???, 5(1) Demography at 160, 158 (1968).
[14] Supra. Note 5 at 1126.
[15] Supra Note 13 at 160-161.
[16] K.McQuillan, ???Common Themes in Catholic and Marxist Thought on Population and Development???, 5(4) Population and Development Review at 694, 689 (Dec., 1979).
[17] M.Rahnema, ???A Different Look at the “Population Problem???, 24(1) Population and Environment at 100, 97 (Sept., 2002).
[18] M.E. Giminez, ???Population and Capitalism???, 4(4) Latin American Perspectives at 37, 5 (1977).
[19] Supra. Note 13 at 173.
[20] E. Neumayer, ???An Empirical Test of a Neo-malthusian Theory???, 27(4) Population and Environment at 327, 327 (Mar., 2006).
[21] F.H.A. Miclewright, ???The Rise and Decline of English Neo- Malthusianism???, 15(1) Population Studies at 34, 32 (July, 1961).
[22] F. D??™Arcy, ??? The Malthusian League and the Resistance to Birth Control Propaganda in Late Victorian Britain???, 31(3) Population Studies at 448, 429 (Nov., 1977).
[23] N. Hybel, Crisis or Change at 179 (Michigan: Aarhus University Press, 1989).
[24] A.C. Kelley, ???Population and Development: Controversy and Reconciliation???, 16(3) Journal of Economic Education at 177-178, 177 (1985).
[25] World Bank, World Development Report at 80 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984).
[26] S. Bernstein, ???The Changing Discourse on Population and Development: Toward a New Political Demography???, 36(2) Studies in Family Planning at 127, 127 (June, 2005).
[27] Id,
[28] S. Bernstein, ???The Changing Discourse on Population and Development: Toward a New Political Demography???, 36(2) Studies in Family Planning at 128, 127 (June, 2005).
[29] J.D. Rockefeller, ???Population growth: The role of the developed world???, (4) Population and Development Review at 516, 509 (1978).
[30] See National Research Council, Population Growth and Economic Development: Policy Questions (New York: National Academy of Sciences, 1986).
[31] Supra. Note 24 at 181.
[32] Supra. Note 32 at 129.
[33] ???Program of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (Chapters I-VIII)???, 21(1) Population and Development Review at 189, 187 (March, 1995).
[34] UNFPA & Harvard School of Public Health, A Human Rights-Based Approach to Programming Module 3 at 3 (UNFPA, 2010). Available at http://www.unfpa.org/public/publications/pid/4919 as viewed on 20/5/2010.
[35] See Report of the International Conference on Population and Development.(New York: United Nations, 1995). Available at http://www.unfpa.org/webdav/site/global/shared/documents/publications/2004/icpd_eng.pdf as viewed on 21/5/2010.
[36] U.N. Populations Fund, State of the World Population 2001: Development Levels and Environmental Impact (2001). available at www.unfpa.org/swp/2001/english/ch03.html as viewed on 22/5/2010.
[37] Id.
[38] Pope John Paul II, Message to UN Population Fund Director (March 18, 1994). Available at www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/letters/1999/documents/hf_jp-ii_ let_19031994_population-develop_en.html as viewed on 21/5/2010.
[39] See Press Conference by Panel on Population and Development (31 August, 2002). available at http://www.un.org/events/wssd/pressconf/020831conf1.htm as viewed on 21/5/2010.
[40] L. Ryan, ???Developments in Population???, 2002 Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law and Policy at 51-52, 51 (2002).
[41] H. Zlotnik, The Contribution of Population Policy to the Achievement of MDGs at 1 (15 December, 2008). Available at http://www.un.org/esa/population/meetings/panel_policy_MDG/Population_Policy_MDGs.pdf as viewed on 22/5/2010.
[42] Ibid. at 2.
[43] E. Burleson, ???Middle-eastern and North African Hydropolitics: From Eddies of indecision to Emerging International Law???, 18 Georgetown International Environmental Law Review at 413, 385 (2006).
[44] N. Prata, ???Assistance to International Family Planning Programmes???, 13 U.C. Davis Journal of International Law and Policy at 32, 19 (2006),
[45] A. Sen, ???Population Policy: Authoritarianism versus Cooperation???, 10(1) Journal of Population Economics at 5, 3 (Apr., 1997).
[46] Z. Yi, ???Population Tradeoffs in China???, 24(4) Policy Sciences at 396, 389 (Nov., 1991).
[47] See World Bank, World Development Report 1994: Infrastructure for Development (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994).
[48] J.S. Aird, ???Population Policy in Mainland China???, 16(1) Population Studies at 43, 38 (Jul. 1962).
[49] T. Scharping, Birth control in China, 1949-2000: Population policy and demographic development at 145 (New York: Routledge, 2003).
[50] S. Jian et al., Population Control in China: Theory and Applications at 43 (New York: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1985).
[51] Supra. Note 45 at 15.
[52] W.A. Joseph, China Briefing: The Contradictions of Change at 86 (New York: East Gate, 1997).
[53] S. Spoolman et al., Sustaining the Earth at 89 (Belmont: Brooks/Cole, 2009).
[54] P.N. Bhat et al., ???Demographic Transition in Kerala Revisited???, 25(35-36) Economic and Political Weekly at 1964, 1957 (Sept., 1990).
[55] See T.N. Krishnan, ???Demographic Transition in Kerala: Facts and Factors???, 11 Economic and Political Weekly 1203 (Aug., 1976).
[56] R. Jeffrey, Politics, Women and Well-being: How Kerala Became a Model at 56 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992).
[57] M. Murthy, ???Demographic Outcomes, Economic Developments and Womens Agency???, 21 Population and Development Review at 782, 745 (1995).
[58] M. Connelly, ???Population Control in India: Prologue to the Emergency Period???, 32(4) Population and Development Review at 631, 629 (Dec., 2006).
[59] K. Srinivasan, Regulating Reproduction in Indias Population at 30-32 (New Delhi: Sage Publications, 1995).
[60] Supra. Note 45 at 18..
[61] J.P. Gupta et al., Evolution of Family Welfare Programme Vol. 1 at 71 (New Delhi : National Institute
of Health Family Welfare, 1992).

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