Reproductive racism

Reproductive racism

Migration, birth control, and the spectre of population

By Susanne Schultz

Anthem Studies in Decoloniality and Migration

The book analyses how demographic knowledge production and states’ grip to the variable of population intertwine. It introduces the concept of the Malthusian matrix in order to understand how class-selective and racist hierarchies within population narratives are combined with gendered policies of reproductive bodies and behaviours.

EPUB, 250 Pages

ISBN:9781839985867

February 2023

£25.00, $40.00

PDF, 250 Pages

ISBN:9781839985850

February 2023

£25.00, $40.00

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
  • Links
  • Podcasts

About This Book

Population is a dangerous political category. It is not separable from the racist and class-based valorisation and devaluation of different lives. From contraceptive implant programmes for the Global South to right wing anti-immigration discourses, demographic interpretations of multiple global and local crises legitimise the states' grip on childbearing and mobility. The results are various dimensions of reproductive racism and restrictive border regimes. Meanwhile, global social inequalities and racial capitalist extractivism stay out of the game. 

The book explores how demographic knowledge production and states’ grip to the variable of population intertwine. It introduces the concept of a Malthusian matrix in order to understand how class-selective and racist hierarchies within population narratives are combined with gendered policies of reproductive bodies and behaviours. Another chapter unfolds the invisible assumptions underlying demographic projections, as these future narratives support powerful strategies of domination in the presence. 

Through the book various current dimensions of reproductive racism are demonstrated, distinguishing between the birth of desirable and undesirable people: an upward redistributive family policy in Germany is promoting births within the privileged middle classes. And international population programs revive targets in order to increase the use of long-acting contraceptives in the Global South, within a market-oriented setting of Big Pharma promotion. Reproductive racism is also effective in migration policy strategies: narratives about "migrant birth rates" circulate in ultra-right forces as well as among seemingly apolitical demographic policy consultancy. 

Finally, the book also reflects on the role of statehood in contested demographic politics and what theoretical instruments are needed in order to attack the demographic power-knowledge complex. The epilogue refers to the intersectional feminist concept of reproductive justice as an important tool and framework for anti-Malthusian resistance and alliances.

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Author Information

Susanne Schultz is a private university lecturer at the Institute of Sociology/Goethe University Frankfurt. She is a member of the queer-feminist editors collective Kitchen Politics and researches on bio- and necropolitics, population policies and reproductive relations. 

Daniel Bendix is a professor for global development at Friedensau Adventist University and author of Global Development and Colonial Power. German Development Policy at Home and Abroad (2018). He is active with the transnational network Afrique-Europe-Interact.

Series

Anthem Studies in Decoloniality and Migration

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Dangerous Spectre of Population; First Section: The Concept of Demographization; Reproducing the Nation: The Concept of Demographization and New German and Transnational Population Policies; Second Section: Population Projections as an Important Trope for Immigration Policies; Demographic Futurity: How Statistical Assumption Politics Shape Immigration Policy Rationales; On Migrants’ Birth Rates and Future Population Composition: A Common Biopolitical Ground for Utilitarian and Ethnocentric Nationalisms; Third Section: The Politics of Averted Births in Transnational Population Policies; The Political Economy of Averted Births: The Demographic Dividend, Long-Lasting Contraceptives and Big Pharma Interests in Recent Family Planning Programmes; NGOs and the Transformation of Statehood: A Theoretical and Methodological Approach to the Role of NGOs in the History of Transnational Population Policies; Epilogue: Reproductive Justice as Anti-Malthusian Commitment.

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