As the planet approaches 8 billion, international debate on population will be ignited again. Population is an urgent and sensitive global concern in a climate-crisis era, from net growth, to ageing, to low fertility.
Population has long been a 360-degree problem. It invites expertise on soil fertility and human fertility; economy and ecology; space, growth and limits; food security, energy and waste. Reproductive politics, health politics, and geopolitics all bear on population policy making. State, familial and individual governance have affected consumption, production and reproduction in the past and into the the climate-changed present.
The Laureate Centre for History & Population approaches the multi-dimensional challenge of population through four linked fields of inquiry. Biopolitics, Geopolitics, Ecopolitics, and Cosmopolitics.
The Laureate Centre for History & Population researches how population policies emerged over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and what their present legacies are, especially in a climate-changed world. We consider the significance of population for modern world history, economic history, environmental history, and the history of ideas, each of which were and are gendered and raced.
The separations and inter-relations of Biopolitics, Geopolitics, Ecopolitics, and Cosmopolitics drive our enquiries and guide our individual and collective historical work. Our ambition is to place population matters squarely into the multiple modernities of world history.
The Laureate Centre interrogates population history through three core lines of inquiry:
1. Energies: How do we think about population and history in a climate-changed world?
2. Depopulation and repopulation: What are the geopolitics and biopolitics of population decline in modern world history?
3. Multiple Modernities: Where is population in histories of the modern world that decentre Europe?
The Laureate Centre also explains ‘Global Malthus.’ How was world population conceptualised in early political economy? How were Malthusian ideas taken up, transformed, or rejected by political leaders and ideas leaders in the multiple modernities of the 19th and 20th centuries?