Research report 2021 - Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law

Population numbers as an object of international law: interpretation and regulation between 1945 and 1980

Dana Schmalz
Max-Planck-Institut für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht, Heidelberg
Concerns with population numbers have a long history. Yet only in the past 120 years, the world population is a topic in academic and public debates. Linked to population developments are several normative questions. In my research, I am exploring how debates around population numbers shaped modern law, and how in particular in the phase between 1945 and 1980, the issue of global and regional population growth played a role in the developments of international law. A key observation is that law was not only a tool for regulating population developments but also a site of narrative authority.

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