All rooms are equipped with an overhead projector
Rooms C, D, E, F, G and H (H only on Saturday): slide projector (framed slides, carrousel. There are extra carrousels available to set up your presentation in advance)
Rooms C, D, M, N, O, U and Committee Room 2: beamer to connect your laptop. You have to bring you own laptop. (If you want to use your Apple notebook, please contact us, as it may be incompatible.)
Rooms C, T and U: VCR
|Population Control and the Construction of State Power: (Forced) Sterilization Campaigns in Puerto Rico and Peru|
|Focusing on the history of sterilization campaigns in Peru and Puerto Rico, this analysis serves as a window to gain insights into questions of policy-making, women’s health, and human rights. Forced sterilization has begun to gain a special place in a nascent area of scholarship - not only in the Americas but also in a global setting. The topic, I argue, is significantly enhanced through a comparative perspective because the wider context reveals emerging common characteristics in the history of human right violations through forced sterilization – but also leaves space for specific local and regional diversity in the construction of state power.
The case of Puerto Rico reflects the widespread neo-Malthusian interpretations which characterized the official discourse in the western developed world. After WWII, the fear of overpopulation entered the popular imagination. Population bombs were expected to explode especially in the developing regions of the world. Excess populations would potentially increase social unrest and revolutions, in which tidal waves of poor people would rise against authorities, could threaten political economic stability. Population control, based on the desire to limit population size, was clearly on the mind of policy makers and health care officials alike. Sterilization campaigns in Peru, a policy focus of the 1990s, illustrate the ongoing influence and power of neo-Malthusian think tanks that believe in population control measures in order to promote economic development and increase political control.
Both cases are powerful examples to shed light on a process in which political actors constructed unwanted populations whose offspring (or influence) needed to be controlled. Those who defined and set in motion the sterilization campaigns identified groups among the population whose access to state power needed to be controlled. The targeted groups were expected to remain in a colonized condition, a role that prevented them from shared access to political decision-making and from contributing to definitions of progress or modernity on their home grounds.