Should We Control World Population?
Should We Control World Population?

By 2100, the human population may exceed 11 billion. Having recently surpassed 7.5 billion, it has trebled since 1950. Are such numbers sustainable, given a deepening environmental crisis and worldwide aspirations for economic development? Can so many live well? Or should world population be controlled? Resurrecting one of the twentieth-century’s most bitterly contested issues, the population question is being debated once again.

In this nuanced and compelling book, leading political theorist Diana Coole examines some of the profound political and ethical questions involved. How definitive are ethical objections to government interference with individuals’ reproductive freedom? Is it possible to limit population in a non-coercive way that is consistent with liberal-democratic values? Interweaving erudite original analysis with an accessible overview of the crucial debates, Coole argues that a case can be made for reducing our numbers in ways that are compatible with human rights.

This book will be essential reading for anyone who wants to get to the heart of one of the most formidable and important questions facing our planet, from concerned citizens to students of politics, sociology, political economy, health studies, gender studies and environmental studies.

Show More
Buy Now


Order Exam Copy

For Lecturers Only

More Info
  • July 2018
  • 144 pages
  • 124 x 190 mm / 5 x 7 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $45.00
  • 9781509523405
  • Paperback $12.95
  • 9781509523412
  • Open eBook $12.95
  • 9781509523443
Table of Contents


Chapter 1 - Should Population be Controlled?

Chapter 2 - The Ethics of Population Control: Reproductive Freedom and Human Rights

Chapter 3 -The Means of Population Governance


About the Author

Diana Coole is Professor of Political and Social Theory at Birkbeck, University of London

Show More


"This important and accessible work persuasively addresses difficult normative questions about population control, philosophically rejecting common arguments which seek to put any discussion of population policy "off the table" whilst remaining sensitive to the historical and political context motivating such concerns."
Elizabeth Cripps, University of Edinburgh

"An informed, subtle, and revealing analysis."
Sarah Conly, Bowdoin College

Show More