The last two decades have witnessed significant new developments in the field of population policy, particularly an increasing trend toward the establishment of national population planning efforts in the countries of the Third World. In this volume, a group of distinguished specialists in the field address some of the most critical questions that have arisen in debates about population policy: What are some of the national policy priorities? How are they implemented? How successful have they been? What is the role of international agencies in the implementation of population policy? What are some of the legal and ethical issues involved? The contributors focus on the Asian region, which has been most active in the development and implementation of population policy, but also offer a geographically balanced treatment of the subject by including papers that discuss the experiences of countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, and African nations.
The volume begins by discussing the interactions among legal issues, human rights, and population policy. The ethics of population control and the nature of the population establishment in the United States receive extended treatment in two chapters, followed by an in-depth examination of immigration policy in the United States. A group of papers evaluate population planning efforts in India, China, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, examining such issues as the costs of restrictive programs and the reasons for the persistence of high birth rates in some countries despite extensive family planning programs. The new generation of African population policies and the impact of policies on fertility and family planning in selected Latin American countries complete the country study section of the volume. Concluding chapters assess the roles of the World Bank and the United Nations in shaping Third World population policy. Students of international development, sociology, and population studies will find here important new insights into the complex issues surrounding population planning policies.