Populations

Led by Ruth Holliday

post-growth demography and ecology, states and borders, bio-politics, intergenerational justice, love

Global population growth is slowing down and will peak between 2040 and 2100. In some East-Asian countries populations have already begun to decline, whilst in Western countries low fertility rates are often masked by migration. Many populations around the world are ageing. In the UK young people own a lower proportion of the nation’s wealth than ever before and face precarious work, huge debts and unaffordable housing. Neo-liberal governments are failing to address the global COVID and environmental crises and inter-generational and other injustices, leading to political turmoil, the growth of the hard right as well as climate and other forms of activism such as Gender Identity struggles, #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter. Research in this area  links with the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies (CIGS) to addresses the questions of how young people from different classes and ethnicities, and in different national contexts will live in this emerging world: how they will organise their communities, friendships, families, intimacies, work and housing when having children is rarer. Our work engages with colleagues in Work and Employment, Geography and East Asian Studies to exploring themes that refer to Bauman’s work on ‘love’ and ‘intergenerational justice’, as well as broader transformations in intimacies, gender and gendered relations. At the same time, the populations question is also reflected in the crisis concerning population movements internationally and internally, with the emergence of new governmental technologies and institutions concerned with categorising movement, and imposing borders and hierarchies of (national) citizenship. This work on political demography also links back to the management of population decline and resurgent neo-nationalisms.