Procreation and Population in Historical Social Science

Procreation and Population in Historical Social Science

By Daniela Danna

The book sees procreation, the forgotten basis of population dynamics, and its macrohistorical results through the lenses of world-system analysis. This interdisciplinary book sheds light on the historical paths leading to the current unprecedented numbers of humans on the globe, fuelled by the capitalist demand for labor.

Hardback, 240 Pages


August 2021

£80.00, $125.00

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About This Book

Procreation, the forgotten basis of population dynamics, and its macrohistorical results, are at the center of this book seen through the lenses of world-system analysis in a nondogmatic way that includes the work started by Jack Goldstone on agrarian-bureaucratic states and their population cycles between 1250 and 1850. Procreation and Population presents population theories, especially those that give a proper place to the demand for labour, generally not considered by professional demographers. Criticizing the intellectual division of labour that separates demography from the unique historical social science that world-systems analysis is building up, the book shows that the commonplaces of the demographic discipline are just a self-celebratory view of Western industrial society.

Attentive to gender relations, the book brings importance to the very base of history (“the weight of number”, in the words of Fernand Braudel) and boldly tracks “the big picture” of population dynamics in times of postmodernist taboos on generalizations and on the search for the historical laws of human society. Complete with data, estimates and sources about the current population trends, this interdisciplinary effort sheds light on the historical paths leading to the current unprecedented numbers of humans on the globe: the forecasted and impossible perennial population growth would be just what capitalism needed to perpetuate its D-M-D spiral.


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Author Information

Daniela Danna is a sociologist at the University of Salento, Italy. She has authored many books and works on feminist issues in Italy and globally.


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Table of Contents

List of Tables; Acknowledgments; Introduction; 1. Population, Procreation and Modes of Production; 2. Historical Social Science; 3. The Principle of Population versus the Law of Capitalist Accumulation; 4. Demography and Its Myths; 5. Dynamics of Pre- Industrial Populations; 6. Labor Demand and the Industrial Revolution; 7. Population Growth in Incorporated Areas; 8. Development, Population and Energy; References and Datasets; Index.


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