Constructing population control: Social and material factors in norm emergence and diffusion.
To demonstrate that norms have independent causal power, constructivists de-emphasise material factors related to state interests and highlight social factors. Similarly, they conceptualise international organisations as autonomous from state influence, and focus on cases featuring non-state actors that stimulate a "tipping point" of norm diffusion among states in advance of state sponsorship. By contrast, this article utilises an historical materialist approach that admits both social and material data to examine the contrasting case of population control. It finds that US corporate foundations, eugenist demographers, feminist birth control activists and related NGOs conceptualised and promoted population control in the United States, at the United Nations, and across developing countries. However, the tipping point of norm diffusion occurred only after the United States publicly advocated population control. Indeed, material and social factors were inextricably bound together. (author's)