The population explosion: Economic implications

  • Joseph J. Spengler


Of the great disruptive periods in world history perhaps the most disordering is that elapsing since August 1914. Then began the first modern Peloponnesian War, to be followed by a second within twenty-one years. These destroyed the several-centuries-old hegemony of the European peoples who still formed about 35 per cent of the world’s population in 1960 much as in 1900. While it was ideological cleavage and failure to subordinate national interests to western man’s interests that destroyed his hegemony, it is the world’s vital revolution that is converting this upheaval in world hegemony into what may prove the greatest watershed in mankind’s politico-economic history. It is with this vital revolution and some of its implications that my paper deals.


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  1. I have drawn on the following studies by the United Nations: The Determinants and Consequences of Population Trends (New York, 1953); World Population Prospects (1963) (New York, 1966), and World Population Situation, E/CN.9/231 (New York, 1968); J. D. Durand, ‘World Population Estimates, 1750–2000’, in United Nations, World Population Conference, 1965, II (New York, 1967) pp. 17–22;Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© South African Institute of International Affairs 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph J. Spengler

There are no affiliations available

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