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Building the Population Bomb - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Building the Population Bomb

Emily Klancher Merchant


Building the Population Bomb examines how human population came to be understood as a problem in the twentieth century, how it became an object of intervention for governments, scientists, and nongovernmental organizations, and how some forms of intervention got coded as legitimate while others were recognized as coercive. It traces the emergence and growth of two scientific perspectives on population from the 1920s to the present. The first, rooted in the natural sciences, considered the world’s population as a whole in relation to natural resources. The second, rooted in the social sciences, ... More

Keywords: population, demography, economic development, environmentalism, family planning, birth control, reproductive justice, population control, United States

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780197558942
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2021 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780197558942.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Emily Klancher Merchant, author
Assistant Professor of Science and Technology Studies, University of California, Davis