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Population and Environment

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 233–254 | Cite as

Toward a theory of restraint

  • Thomas Princen
Article

Abstract

Consumption largely remains a black box in the population, environment, and global change debates. The dominant perspective takes insatiability as axiomatic and assumes that reduced consumption will only happen through scarcity or the impositions of external authority. Yet humans often exhibit resource limiting behavior that is not the result of external controls nor is it altruistic or aberrant. This article develops the concept ofrestraint as an evolutionarily and culturally significant behavior, yet one that in modern times has been relegated to a regressive, if not trivial, status. The article defines restraint, hypothesizes its historical and evolutionary roots, lays out the conditions under which it can occur, and develops a theoretical parallel to cooperation in international relations theory.

Keywords

Global Change Evolutionary Root International Relation Relation Theory Modern Time 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Princen
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Natural Resources and EnvironmentThe University of MichiganAnn Arbor

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