Download Full Text (5.6 MB)

Download Front Matter (239 KB)

Download Foreword: Despair is No Solution / John K. Roth (183 KB)

Download Acknowledgements and Contributors (230 KB)

Download 1. The Coming Age of Scarcity: An Introduction / Michael N. Dobkowski and Isidor Wallimann (1.1 MB)

Download Part One. Statement of the Problem -- Introduction (200 KB)

Download 2. The Threat to the Underclass / John B. Cobb, Jr. (833 KB)

Download 3. The Paradox of Global Development and the Necessary Collapse of Modern Industrial Civilization / Chris H. Lewis (604 KB)

Download Part Two. Scarcity and Conflict -- Introduction (226 KB)

Download 4. Biophysical Limits to Industrialization: Prospects for the Twenty-first Century / John M. Gowdy (686 KB)

Download 5. Our Unsustainable Society: Basic Causes, Interconnections, and Solutions / Ted Trainer (837 KB)

Download 6. Defining the New American Community: A Slide to Tribalism? / Virginia Abernethy (993 KB)

Download 7. The Vicious Circle Principle: A Contribution to the Theory of Population and Development / Craig Dilworth (1.2 MB)

Download 8. The Social Impact of Scarcity: The Political Responses of Institutionally Developed Societies / Kurt Finsterbusch (1.1 MB)

Download 9. Competition, Expansion, and Reaction: The Foundations of Contemporary Conflict / Joseph A. Tainter (1.0 MB)

Download Part Three. Case Studies of Scarcity and Mass Death -- Introduction (244 KB)

Download 10. Scarcity and Genocide / Roger W. Smith (915 KB)

Download 11. Postcolonial Genocide: Scarcity, Ethnicity, and Mass Death in Rwanda / David Norman Smith (1.2 MB)

Download 12. Intrastate Conflict and Sustainable Development: Lessons from Bosnia, Somalia, and Haiti / Waltraud Queiser Morales (1.1 MB)

Download 13. Scarcity, Genocide, and the Postmodern Individual / Leon Rappoport (785 KB)

Download 14. Critical Reflections on the Doomsday, Apocalyptic Vision / Craig A. Rimmerman (1.1 MB)

Download Back Matter (1.6 MB)

Publication Date



Scarcity, Natural Resources, Economic development, Sustainable development


Agricultural and Resource Economics | Demography, Population, and Ecology | Geography | Growth and Development | International and Area Studies | International Economics | Nature and Society Relations | Physical and Environmental Geography | Race and Ethnicity | Sociology


The structure of the book is simple. The first part analyzes major forces having an impact on the survivability of civilization as we know it into the twenty-first century. It outlines the challenges we face, including overpopulation, pressure upon the land, migration, ecological damage, and social instability. In part two, we present more detailed discussion of the problem of scarcity and how it relates to conflict. The authors in this section argue that the current level of human activity is unsustain­able. They demonstrate that population growth in particular affects the natural world and can affect the social order and international political systems.The authors in part three go beyond the empirical and theoretical studies of the first two parts to examine how scarcity has already led to mass death and genocide in Rwanda, Bosnia, Somalia, and Haiti and to speculate on the likelihood that scarcities could be a more decisive factor in genocide in the future.




Syracuse University Press


Syracuse, New York

The Coming Age of Scarcity : Preventing Mass Death and Genocide in the Twenty-first Century



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