The Cairo Consensus : Demographic Surveys, Women's Empowerment, and Regime Change in Population Policy
In the early 1990s international population policy faced a crisis-it was being attacked from the left and the right, from inside and outside, for a range of failings-of ethics, fact, method, and vision. The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, held in Cairo, provided a new policy consensus that helped to overcome this crisis. Starting from the question of how the transition from "population control" to "women's empowerment" was formulated as an international consensus, The Cairo Consensus maps the discourses, technical practices, and institutional practices that made this transition possible and stable. Demographic surveys in particular emerge as a crucial, though often overlooked, mechanism for policy production and stability. Using detailed empirical material, including over 30 interviews, combined with cutting edge social and political theory, Saul Halfon offers a new look at population policy that will interest scholars of science and technology, international studies, women's studies, development studies, and post-colonial theory.
- Hardback | 282 pages
- 157.5 x 228.6 x 25.4mm | 567g
- 01 Dec 2006
- Lexington Books
- Lanham, MD, United States
Table of contents
Part 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Introduction Chapter 3 Structured Disunity: Rethinking Consensus as a Meraphor for "Getting Along" Part 4 Population Discourses Chapter 5 Over-Populating the World:Discourses on "The Population Problem," 1945 to the Present Chapter 6 Reading Cairo Chapter 7 Re-Configuring Women's Empowerment :From Politics to Planning Part 8 Technical Practices in the Population Network Chapter 9 Contesting Surveys:Co-Producing Demography and Population Policy Chapter 10 Standardizing Surveys:Building Consensus through Technical Practice Chapter 11 Narrating Unmet Need Part 12 Instituting the Cairo Regime Chapter 13 Translating Unmet Need into Market Demand:Contraceptive Development after Cairo Chapter 14 Conclusion:Projecting Population Policy
Halfon's analysis of the regime change from "population control" to "women's empowerment" enacted as the Cairo consensus ruptures the accepted grand narrative. He foregrounds the scientization of both population policy and social movement worlds through the institutionalization of shared technical language and practices. Making and talking about demographic surveys served as "neutral" sites in and through which the requisite serious negotiations could and did flourish. A brilliant analysis of the too often invisible work of making change in a complex world. -- Adele E. Clarke, professor of sociology, University of California, San Francisco The book is ambitious, wide-ranging, provocative, and creative in its effort to bring a different slant to this challenging subject. * Studies in Family Planning, March 2008 * Halfon has clearly done a great deal of literature research and supplemented this with extensive personal interviews with people having some knowledge of the topics he explores. ...Halfon's book at least provides some hope that somewhat disparate interests can continue to muddle toward some general consensus goals. * Population Studies: A Journal of Demography, July 2008 * Halfron's goals are ambitious, which works to his favor especially in his rich discussion of the conceptualization of woman's empowerment and its history within the international community....Halfron's work acts as another significant contribution to the study of postcolonialism. * Journal Of International Women's Studies, November 2008 * Contributing to the interpretive turn in international relations scholarship and the global turn in science and technology studies, Saul Halfon has made an outstanding contribution to both fields while building a sorely needed bridge between the two. In tracing the emergence of a global population consensus around women's empowerment, he offers a nuanced understanding of consensus as a terrain of "structured disunity" that is constructed through socio-technical practices. Sophisticated yet lucid and accessible, The Cairo Consensus brings the insights of science and technology studies to a diverse audience in the social sciences, policy analysis, women's studies, and environmental studies. -- Karen Litfin, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Washington
About Saul Halfon
Saul Halfon is assistant professor of science & technology in society at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.