You will find a complete range of our monographs, muti-authored and edited works including peer-reviewed, original scholarly research across the social sciences and aligned disciplines. We publish long and short form research and you can browse the complete Bristol University Press and Policy Press archive of over 1400 titles.
Policy Press also publishes policy reviews and polemic work which aim to challenge policy and practice in certain fields. These books have a practitioner in mind and are practical, accessible in style, as well as being academically sound and referenced.
Human population growth is a serious biospheric problem yet is largely overlooked. Because of the neglect of demography, environmental policies — while well-intentioned – are unlikely to succeed.
This book gives a concise review of world fertility rates and population growth, and offers a valuable summary of studies of the impact of over-population on the biosphere. In addition, the book explains key demographic variables to consider when formulating law and government policy relevant to childbearing, and it summarizes findings of social science research – findings that contradict popular assumptions about the impact of government interventions addressing the frequency of childbearing and immigration.
The chapter points out that the disciplines of ecology and sociology both rely on the concept of a system and thus have a basis for collaboration even though the phenomena they study are substantively dissimilar. The character of a system is explained, and the implications of a system are discussed for human societies, for law and government, and for the consequences of government undertakings to alter the incidence of key social activities such as fertility. The chapter proposes that, because childbearing has been found to decrease as population density increases, urban planning may be able to reduce human fertility by promoting high-density housing.
The chapter returns to the absence of human-population size and growth from the paradigm that is currently dominant among environmentalists. This paradigmatic flaw is underscored by a discussion of (1) the melting of polar glaciers and (2) levels of human mortality from outbreaks of disease, both of which are affected by the size and growth of the human population. The chapter recommends that, in attempting to curb population growth, law and government policy should be used cautiously and formulated with inputs from a wide range of disciplines.
The chapter offers insights into the demography of human-population growth in the world as a whole and in nations grouped by income level. Graphs are used to examine trends since the middle of the twentieth century in age-specific fertility rates, mean age of childbearing among women, and total fertility rates. The chapter also discusses childlessness and the importance of the extent of childlessness to population growth.
The chapter discusses some methodological pitfalls in assessments of the effectiveness of law and government policy that address society-important social activities. A summary and analysis of quantitative research indicates that law and policy, including policy promoting family-planning services, have had just a limited impact on the frequency of childbearing. Research also indicates that law and policy have not had a large effect on the incidence of abortion or on the volume of immigration.
The chapter identifies primary and secondary negative environmental impacts of the numerical size and growth of the human population. Findings of scientific studies, especially findings of multivariate analyses of quantitative data, are summarized on the effects that human population size, density, and/or increase have had on the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, on human death rates generally, and on the climate of the planet. Through climate change, population size and growth have had secondary effects: Research indicates that climate change has increased wildfires, damaged agriculture, hurt economic activity, intensified hurricanes and typhoons, caused flooding and droughts, and diminished biodiversity.
The chapter points out that the current paradigm of environmentalists ignores the negative impact that human population size has on the biosphere. To counter this lack of concern with population size and growth, the chapter uses graphs to show that the ecological footprint of the global human population has appreciably expanded since the 1960s; that the numerical increase of the global population remains substantial even though the rate of population growth and the total fertility rate have fallen; and that large numbers of human beings are projected to be added each decade to the global population until at least the year 2050.
Under what technoscientific conditions might the scarcity of food be understood as contingent on heterogeneous actors? And how might the possibilities of food abundance be approached as a reparative project of valuing their manifold relations? Blockchain promises to be an infrastructure that presents both productive imaginaries and also challenges to such restorative and sustainable work. In a series of workshops, we critically experimented with these possibilities and challenges. Working with diverse participants including community growers, organizers, artists and technologists we used a variety of playful methods to act out fictional scenarios set in 2025, when all of London had been transformed into a city farm. For organizations and participants, reparation meant working in the aftermath of social and environmental collapse to bring into being more-than-human-value systems that radically decentred human knowledge and experience.
Building in a relationship between scientific artifacts and affect, we reflect on the possibilities of a crossing inspiration among sciences to inspire alternative forms of ecological repair. Colombian páramos are considered strategic ecosystems for water supply, pushing policies that have focused on partially prohibiting agriculture. Environmental authorities, supported by natural scientists, developed maps to delimit paramo, while social scientists studied the intimate relations between páramo and campesinos to inform the consequences of restrictions. We argue that the conservation of páramos requires repairing relationships beyond the páramo as "nature." The biodiversity sciences would benefit from participating in sophisticated conjunctions with other disciplines and campesino’s knowledge, which we imagine as ecologies of affections that feed sciences that risk novel articulations. One first step in this direction would be to learn to be affected by ‘inexact materials’; as landscape drawings that offer clues about affective worlds beyond those of science and the state.
With the 2019 Chilean estallido social we write-think-feel the myriad images that actors of the outburst covered the walls of Santiago streets. We read those images as an archive written from the wounds that colonialism-capitalism inflicted on bodies and territories that are together. Albeit ephemeral (authorities can delete them), the images expose mutilations of bodies-territories that are never to be erased, always to be cared for. Composed of presences both unimaginable (the dead, walls, dogs) and imaginable (music, people, images), the outbursts are those wounds. Their presence haunts usual politics: without teleology or leadership – let alone representation – outbursts do not disappear for their mission is to pursue life against destruction. Pursuing life, they roam the streets like mutts, and very specifically like the Chilean kiltro dogs – their decision to negotiate independence and accompaniment as way of life may be an inspiration of another politics: a kiltro politics.