Minority Youth Bulges and the Future of Intrastate Conflict

Read “Minority Youth Bulges and the Future of Intrastate Conflict,” by Richard Cincotta, posted in the New Security Beat on October 13, 2011. The sub-state demographic theory of the risk of ethnoreligious conflict described in this essay has been applied to several countries. See “The Refugee Crisis in the Levant” (Barnhart et al., 2015, American U.), and The Demography of the Rohingya Conflict (Blomquist & Cincotta, 2015), and the Ethno-demographic Dyanmics of the Rohingya Conflict.

From a demographic perspective, the global distribution of intrastate conflicts is not what it used to be. During the latter half of the 20th century, the states with the most youthful populations (median age of 25.0 years or less) were consistently the most at risk of being engaged in civil or ethnoreligious conflict (circumstances where either ethnic or religious factors, or both, come into play). However, this tight relationship has loosened over the past decade, with the propensity of conflict rising significantly for countries with intermediate age structures (median age 25.1 to 35.0 years) and actually dipping for those with youthful age structures (see Figure 1 below).

Why has this relationship changed? At least two underlying trends help explain the shift:

  1. Over the last two decades, the deployment of peace support operations to countries with youthful populations has surged (described in a previous post on New Security Beat); and
  2. Ethnoreligious conflicts have gradually, though noticeably, increased among a group of states with a median age greater than 25.0 years (including Thailand, Turkey, and Russia).

Read the rest at …

Youth Bulge and Societal Conflicts: Have Peacekeepers Made a Difference?

View the essay on youthful populations and peace support operations (PSOs), posted in the New Security Beat.

Until recently, the question of which countries are at the most risk of violent societal conflict could be answered with a terse, two-part response: “the young and the war-torn.” This simple characterization regarding youth and conflict worked well, until the first decade of the 21st century. The proportion of youthful countries experiencing one or more violent intrastate conflicts declined from 25 percent in 1995 to 15 percent in 2005. What’s behind this encouraging slump in political unrest? One hypothesis is that peace support operations (PSOs) – peacekeepers, police units, and specialized observers that are led, authorized, or endorsed by the United Nations – appear to have made a substantial difference.

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 …