Anarchism and eugenics

An unlikely convergence, 1890-1940

By Richard Cleminson

Anarchism and eugenics


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-2446-3
  • Pages: 224
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: May 2019
  • BIC Category: Sociology, PSYCHOLOGY / Creative Ability, SOCIAL SCIENCE / General, Society & social sciences / Political activism, Society & social sciences / History of ideas, Society & social sciences / Anarchism
  • Series: Contemporary Anarchist Studies


At the heart of this book is what would appear to be a striking and fundamental paradox: the espousal of a 'scientific' doctrine that sought to eliminate 'dysgenics' and champion the 'fit' as a means of 'race' survival by a political and social movement that ostensibly believed in the destruction of the state and the removal of all hierarchical relationships. What explains this reception of eugenics by anarchism? How was eugenics mobilised by anarchists as part of their struggle against capitalism and the state? What were the consequences of this overlap for both anarchism and eugenics as transnational movements?


Richard Cleminson is Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Leeds


1. The national and international context of theories on inheritance and eugenics
2. From "Conscious Procreation" and Neo-Malthusianism to Eugenics: Anarchism in England, France, Portugal, Spain and Argentina, 1890-1920
3. Anarchist eugenics, women's bodies and the dilemma of sterilisation
4. Conclusion

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