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Health Transit Rev. 1997;7 Suppl 4:7-31.

The new international population movement: a framework for a constructive critique.

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Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, USA.



With the support of the international women's movement, the ideology and methods of traditional population policy were effectively attacked at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). The author discusses some of the complaints about population policy and family planning programs, then considers the substantive, ethical, and feasibility issues of population and reproductive health policy. The majority of the international population movement's (IPM) new agenda is motivated by goals which tend to be more sensitive to individual needs and human rights than earlier, more impersonal versions of population policy in the developing world. Critical academic examination of the old IPM forced the discussion of the meaning of population policy and population research as they relate to the new reproductive health approach. However, the new population policy approach is now itself ready to be examined internally with regard to its practical recommendations and its assessment of the population problem. An internal critique developed by the movement but drawing upon the experience of mainstream population research and policy will strengthen the movement and hone its ability to match methods to goals. Internal dissent within the movement needs to be aired.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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