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This article examines a century of interactions between American feminists and American social movements seeking to influence population trends. The historical analysis focuses on relations between feminists and neo-Malthusians and attempts to determine when they are likely to enter into alliances. The two movements are found to be neither natural allies nor natural enemies. Sturdy alliances arise when both movements agree on certain ideological premises, share a common demographic goal, and perceive mutual benefit in an alliance. The origin of the "common ground" alliance between American feminists and American neo-Malthusians that was so prominently displayed at the International Conference on Population and Development at Cairo is examined. Since the two movements currently are found to possess no clear common goals, to share no basic ideological beliefs, and to have entered a relationship of questionable mutual benefit, the alliance is considered to be fragile.


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Copyright 1997 Wiley and Population Council.

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Population and Development Review

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Hodgson, Dennis; Watkins, Susan. "Feminists and neo-Malthusians: Past and present alliances," Population and Development Review 23, no. 3 (September 1997): 469-523.

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