Abstract: The essay analyses the role of human rights for the population control movement from the 1940s to the 1970s. It is based on records from the Population Council, the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the United Nations. It shows that rights-based language was introduced by advocates of population control and not by its critics and argues that portraying overpopulation as a problem for the realization of human rights became a successful political strategy in building alliances with states and the UN’s leadership. Both were key factors for the financial support and widespread implementation of population control programmes from the 1960s onwards.
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Our new issue features a dossier on the moral economy. It includes essays on the history of ethics as part of economic life, economic justice in early modern Europe, land arrangements in Mexico, and debates over religion, the gift, social rights, and land reform. We also include an essay on Nicholas Kristof’s savior narratives on sex trafficking in Cambodia and an essay reflecting on the limits of humanitarian logics for refugee camp volunteers in Greece and France.View entire issue >
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