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Neo-liberalists ‘Straw man’ diversion on Overconsumption-Does the real threat is Overpopulation or Overconsumption?

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Governance and Development Studies, College of Law and Governance, Jimma University, Ethiopia

Int. Res. J. Social Sci., Volume 6, Issue (3), Pages 27-31, March,14 (2017)


The Ideas of ‘overpopulation’ and ‘overconsumption’ have been contested among development and environmental scholars for decades. Various institutions, scholars and mainstream Medias, especially from the west, argue that the reason for the shortage of sufficient resources, poverty and environmental degradation in the developing world is mainly due to the number of population they have, not as a result of neo-liberalism. In reaction to this, others argue it is the ‘egoistic, anthropocentric, capitalist ideology and unwise anti-nature pattern of consumption’ of the west is the utmost cause for the problems that the third world countries are facing these days. Claiming that ‘overpopulation’ is real cause for the problems of third world countries, while in fact is not, can be termed as the act of ‘‘scapegoating’’ -i.e. overpopulation bears the blame for overconsumption. Accordingly, the writer, after entertaining the opposite arguments, concludes that ‘overpopulation’ is not the real threat to the natural environment, and is not the main cause for poverty and environmental degradation in the developing countries.


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