What is the most urgent issue in GPE today? 


Dr. Helen Hawthorne 

POI 2100 Global Political economy

Overpopulation has been an issue for some time now with many arguing that it is making the economy harder to grow. As of 2018 there are around 7.6 billion people on this planet and almost half of them are living in poverty. As the lifestyle around the planet got better with medicine, food and many other resources people started to have more kids as they knew that it would be easier to take care of them, in 1804 was when we first reached one billion in population form then on your could see how medical advancements increased making so much easier for couples to have children. There is also the factor that couples would have children to work for them as free labour when they became capable to do takes, if you look at 19th century there was a lot of family owned businesses especially in the United States as migrants just came over form Europe. 

This increase in population was good for awhile meaning that more people could work less stress added on just one person the workload could be distributed better and evenly making life easier for everyone. For a long period of time this growth was great as a lot of people did manual labour like work in the coal mine, chopping wood down and many more professions that are not available today. However, the transition within the new century made people question is rapid growth within the world, near the end of the 19th century children started to work in the coal mines which was now know to give you the black lung and the time most likely end in death, for grown men the process took longer and their bodies have developed already you could have work in the coal mines for 10 years but when you looks at a child it is still in developing which makes the body harder to cope with the toxins down there. 

With all of this growth happening it has made it harder for people to find jobs decent ones anyway, this was a problem in the 20th century and it is still a even bigger problem in the 21st century with nearly half of the population living in poverty this does not really include the western countries like USA and Europe whilst people int those countries are also living in poverty they have a better life style that most of the world, I am comparing this to Continents like Africa and most of Asia.  With Asia becoming more of prominent power with countries like China and Japan, the economic powers have shifted in a way as China make for of products that we use in our day to day lives it has unbalanced the structure of the western economic system as the western countries have to rely on them to produce products such as phones, clothing and general products that everyone needs nowadays. 

This new system which is not fully controlled by the west can sound amazing to someone that does not live there however the sad fact is that because of overpopulation people get paid considerably less than they should making this huge gap between the rich and the poor. Allowing this to happen has made the world into a cash hungry machine with nearly every single company wanting to produce products at the cheapest level whilst charging an extortionate prices. This has manly come from the west, the Global Political Economy book by Ravenhill in a way address the process of economic today saying that the process of economy today is not moving around but it is just standing still, which can make it very hard to sustain especially the distinction of domestic and world economy increasingly problematic. I believe that what Ravenhill is trying to tell us in that without movement in the economy there becomes this unbalance with is what is happening right now with the overpopulation as people are not getting jobs or any kind of work. This can have a huge impact on the future of the economy as countries will have take care of people who can not make a living, making harder to help the rest fo the country and the economic market. 

 Easterlin R, (1967) Effects of Population Growth on the Economic Development of Developing Countries https://journals-sagepub-com.ezproxy.mdx.ac.uk/doi/pdf/10.1177/000271626736900110

Shah A, (2013) Poverty Facts and Stats


Kuo G, (2012) MegaCrisis? Overpopulation Is the Problem https://journals-sagepub-com.ezproxy.mdx.ac.uk/doi/pdf/10.1177/194675671200400306

Dovers S, Butler C, Population and Environment: A Global Challenge https://www.science.org.au/curious/earth-environment/population-environment

Ravenhill J, (2017) Global political economy (pp. 257-258) Oxford University Press.           (Accessed 5 December) 

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