Sociology Index

MALTHUSIAN CRISIS

Malthusian crisis refers to the ideas of Thomas Robert Malthus who argued that while populations grow exponentially the rate of increase in the food supply is much less. This creates a natural limit on populations and produces miserable conditions for society and inevitable mass starvation, unless of course individuals practice birth control. Thomas Robert Malthus, English economist, pioneer of the science of political economy and is known for his theory, as expressed in Essay on Population, that the rate of increase of the population tends to be out of proportion to the increase of its means of subsistence; controls on population are therefore necessary to prevent catastrophe. Malthusian crisis also refers to population crisis. The world is recognizing the grave importance Malthusian crisis.

The population apparatus is being re-built and US leadership is re-defined by an alliance between neo-liberal and cultural forms of Malthusian reasoning. Thomas Robert Malthus documents the re-configuration of the Malthusian modern by investigating the rise of sustainable development, the feminist challenges to the population apparatus, the desire to contain human migrations, and the changes in US welfare policy during the 1990s.

The global issue is the continuing need to produce more food given current deficiencies in particular regions and anticipated population increases averaging 80 million per annum up to 2015 followed by 50 million per annum to 2050. The challenge today is the same as Malthusian crisis, identified by the Reverend Thomas Malthus.

Thomas Robert Malthus described a China in which early and universal marriage ensured high fertility and therefore high mortality. He contrasted this with Western Europe, where marriage occurred late and was far from universal, resulting in lower fertility and higher demographic responsiveness to economic circumstances.

Books on Malthusian crisis:

Malthusian Worlds: U. S. Leadership and the Governing of the Population Crisis (Polemics) by Ronald Walter Greene.
Malthusian Worlds pulls together insights from cultural studies, rhetoric and continental theory to explore the art of government. Ronald Walter Greene makes three interlocking arguments. The process of being "modern" requires the ability to govern one's reproductive behavior, what Greene calls the Malthusian Modern.

US leadership in governing the population crisis between the years 1945 and 1975 was made possible by the emergence of a governing apparatus dedicated to policing demographic variables. He documents the re-configuration of the Malthusian modern by investigating the rise of sustainable development, the feminist challenges to the population apparatus, the desire to contain human migrations, and the changes in US welfare policy during the 1990s.

One Quarter of Humanity : Malthusian Mythology and Chinese Realities, 1700-2000 by James Z. Lee, Feng Wang.
Thomas Robert Malthus described a China in which early and universal marriage ensured high fertility and therefore high mortality. He contrasted this with Western Europe, where marriage occurred late and was far from universal, resulting in lower fertility rate and higher demographic responsiveness to economic circumstances.

Land Resources: on the edge of the Malthusian Precipice : An article from: The Geographical Journal - by Donald A. Davidson. A fundamental global issue is the continuing need to produce more food given current deficiencies in particular regions and anticipated population increases averaging 80 million per annum up to 2015 followed by 50 million per annum to 2050. The challenge today is the same as that identified by the Reverend Thomas Malthus.