The Life of Development: Social Scientific Knowledge and Family Planning for the “Third World” in the Mid-Twentieth Century

Sunday, January 5, 2014: 8:50 AM
Tyler Room (Marriott Wardman Park)
Corinna R. Unger, Jacobs University, Bremen
In the post-1945 era, rapid population growth in the so-called developing countries caused anxiety among politicians and experts concerned with those countries’ economic and social development. To reduce population growth and accelerate “modernization,” family planning programs were promoted by international agencies, national governments, and non-governmental actors. The contribution will study the nexus between social scientific approaches of the postwar era and population programs as well as the transnational transfer of knowledge between ca. 1945 and 1970. Using case studies from India and Pakistan, it will pay particular attention to contemporary perspectives on the relation between national development and individual behavior, and it will position family planning concepts in the field of international development ideas. Case studies from Pakistan and India will illustrate our enquiry.