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Population Policies Reconsidered

Population Policies Reconsidered

Health, Empowerment, and Rights

Edited by Gita Sen, Adrienne Germain, and Lincoln C. Chen

ISBN 9780674690035

Publication date: 01/01/1994

Population Policies Reconsidered brings together a rare combination of scholars, feminists, social activists, and policy-makers across many disciplines to critically reexamine the scientific foundation of contemporary population policies. This book explores population policy dilemmas based on the perspective of ethics, women’s empowerment and health, and human rights. The seventeen chapters are centered around the premise that the single-minded pursuit of demographic goals may not be the most effective means of achieving policy objectives—for such may lead to the abuse or violation of choice and human rights, especially of women. Rather, the book explores the alternative idea that population policies should focus on those ultimate aims of development that are linked to human reproduction—health, social empowerment, and human rights. If respectful of individuals, especially women, such policies are likely to promote better individual welfare and may well also result in desirable demographic outcomes.


  • Lincoln C. Chen is President of the China Medical Board.

Book Details

  • 350 pages
  • 8 x 10 inches
  • Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies