“Democracy in Iran? The demographics say YES” — but the Regime Type says NO
Bloomberg View (plus Bloomberg Business Week) has published Leonid Bershidsky’s excellent article on age-structural theory. Clearly, Bershidsky has read through and grasped much of the research (thank you, Leonid!). Bershidsky uses the theory to discuss recent anti-regime demonstrations in Iran and their outcome, and he neatly summarizes the theory’s predictions and points out its strengths. Notably, he also explores some of the theory’s weaknesses dealing with various types of authoritarian regimes that persist despite the societal changes that are associated with a more mature population and passage through the demographic window.
The article can be viewed at the Bloomberg View website, here.
Bershidsky is right — that aspect of the theory remains weak. To strengthen it, I’ve been using the Authoritarian Regime Data Set (Hadenius, A., J. Teorell, and M. Wahman. 2012. “Authoritarian Regimes Data Set, version 5.0: Codebook.” Lund, Sweden: Department of Political Science, Lund University). Putting Hadenius et al.’s regime types into “age-structural time” produces the following hypothetical relationships with population age structure (click on image to enlarge it).