International Dimension of Population Policy

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2015-8-5-13

M. Klupt, St. Petersburg State University of Economics, 21, Sadovay Str., St. Petersburg, 191023, Russian Federation (

Abstract. Change in political, cultural and financial dimensions of international population agenda over the last half  century is considered. Cross-country comparisons reveal path dependence phenomenon. France, where “Malthusian spirit” was long castigated, contributed a lower share of its GDP to international family planning programs than did the US and UK, where Malthusianism always found political support. The controversies over the usage of Kemp–Kasten amendment influenced the structure of the US international population assistance rather than its total volume. Religious NGOs went on international population arena in the 2000s and polarized its non-governmental segment. These NGOs defend the traditional family and declare full respect for national religious and ethical values; their position has some coincidence points with Russia’s standpoint in the UN population debates. The reasons for increasing disagreements between Russia and the West over the key items of both international and Russian domestic population agenda are reviewed. At least 80 per cent of Russians, as the surveys show, believe that the government must strive for fertility growth. Russia’s state-run demographic policy, underlain by this vox populi and aimed at fertility increase, discords with the Western international agenda, which prioritizes the global governance, sexual rights and sexual education of youth. Despite the gloomy UN projection (the 2000 Revision) which predicted shrinking of Russia’s population size to 133.0 million in 2015, it achieved 146.3 Million (including 2.3 Million in Crimea). Nevertheless, most of Western experts argue that the “wrong” Russian demographic policy cannot give positive effect. Given this values’ divide, it would be reasonable to intensify coordination between Russia and other BRICS countries in international population debates and to move cooperation with the West to the issues which are not overloaded by the conflicts of values.

Keywords: population policy, sovereignty, international assistance, fertility, NGOs, Russia, the West

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For citation:
Klupt M. International Dimension of Population Policy. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2015, no. 8, pp. 5-13.

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