The Peculiar History, and Recent Demise, of China’s One-Child Policy with Martin K. Whyte

Harvard Club of Victoria members and guests are invited to a special lunch presentation by Martin K. Whyte on Wednesday the 28th of March 2018.

In October 2015 the Chinese Communist Party leadership announced the ending, after thirty-five years, of its controversial policy of trying to limit families to one child.  Starting on January 1, 2016, Chinese families would be allowed to have two children (but not more).  The recent ending of the one-child policy provides an opportunity to review that policy’s history and ask a number of questions: When and why did state mandates of birth limits begin?  Was the one-child policy in some sense justified when it was launched in 1980? Was the one-child policy successful in reducing Chinese fertility levels to their present, very low levels?  What are the long-term problems spawned by prolonged state distortion of normal demographic behavior?  This talk will prevent an overview of this history and provide answers to these and other questions about China’s one-child campaign.

Martin K. Whyte is John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and Sociology Emeritus at Harvard University, and currently visiting Asia Scholar at the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies, the Asia Institute, University of Melbourne.  He specializes in the study of grass roots social organization and social change in the PRC.  His most recent books are One Country, Two Societies: Rural-Urban Inequality in Contemporary China (editor, Harvard University Press, 2010) and Myth of the Social Volcano: Perceptions of Inequality and Distributive Injustice in Contemporary China (Stanford University Press, 2010).

Date: Wednesday March 28th
Time: 12.15pm – 2.00pm
Venue: Flagstaff Partners, Level 20/101 Collins St Melbourne
Bookings: $35 for HCV members and their guests (pls login to the website to purchase); $45 for non-members. Click here to book!
Contact: Qiao Ma,