Myanmar’s Inability to Ascend to Liberal Democracy

See the New Security Beat essay by Rachel Blomquist and Richard Cincotta on Myanmar’s long-term inability to integrate minorities and to ascend to liberal democracy (FREE in Freedom House’s annual assessment).

According to political demographers, who study the relationship between population dynamics and politics, two characteristics when observed together provide a rather good indication that a state is about to shed its authoritarian regime, rise to a high level of democracy, and stay there. Myanmar has both.

So why, despite an impressive succession of social reforms and political reversals, including the recent victory of the National League for Democracy led by Aung San Suu Kyi and the first elected civilian president, U Htin Kyaw, should analysts remain somewhat skeptical of Myanmar’s ability to make the leap to liberal democracy? The answer can be found in Myanmar’s dismal record of managing inter-ethnic politics, particularly the systematically disenfranchised Muslim Rohingya minority.
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Pakistan’s Health and Demography

View the post, Pakistan’s Health and Demography, originally published on Arms Control Wonk. Another version of this review and commentary is published on The New Security Beat, entitled Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey Shows Slow Progress.

How well did Islamabad measure up in its latest Demographic and Health Survey? Not well, at all. The PDHS results are a disappointment for Pakistan’s public health professionals and women’s health advocates, and they warn of increasingly difficult conditions for rural service delivery. To some health program analysts, the results reflect the low priority given to public health and family planning for decades by Pakistan’s central government.

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Can Demography Save Afghanistan?

Read “Can Demography Save Afghanistan?” by Richard Cincotta, published by Foreign Policy, Nov. 16, 2009.

Picture Afghanistan two decades from now. Difficult? Not really — if you’re a demographer.
The two agencies that independently publish population estimates — the U.N. Population
Division and the U.S. Census Bureau’s International Programs Center — routinely project an
array of demographic statistics for the world’s nearly 200 countries on a time-frame of
decades. Until now, the U.S. and U.N. agencies closely matched one another’s projections
for an Afghanistan-to-be. Not anymore. The U.N. believes Afghanistan’s population (around
28 million today) will pass the 50 million mark by 2030, whereas the Census Bureau foresees
a 2030 population under 43 million.

Download “Can Demography Save Afghanistan?” here …