Welcome to politicaldemography.org
This website is dedicated to political demography, and to The Age-structural Theory of State Behavior (download article here). Read "The 8 Rules" for a quick summary of the theory. See sidebar (homepage) for key publications and web essays. Follow on Twitter at @rpCincotta or visit the New Security Beat.
“Global Political Demography” in progress [Sept. 2018]. Editors Achim Goerres (U. Duisburg-Essen) and Pieter Vanhuyesse (U. Southern Denmark) are currently managing the review and editing processes of Global Political Demography, which is scheduled to be published in 2019. The initial meeting of authors was held in November 2017, at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg/Center for Global Cooperation Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. My contribution to this book is entitled, “Youthful Age Structures and the Risks of Revolutionary and Separatist Conflicts” (author: Richard Cincotta).
Security and Development in Global Politics: A Critical Comparison
Joanna Spear & Paul Williams, eds., Georgetown U. Press, 2012.
This excellent collection of articles on development and security has found its way into university classrooms. It contains two articles on politics, development, and demography that (I think) are essential reading for those interested in economic and political demography (the second article is downloadable from this website):
Goldstone, J. 2012. “Demography: A Security Perspective.” Pp. 271-289 in Security and Development in Global Politics: A Critical Comparison, edited by J. Spear and P.D. Williams. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
Cincotta, R.P. 2012. “Demography: A Development Perspective.” Pp. 291-310 in Security and Development in Global Politics: A Critical Comparison, edited by J. Spear and P.D. Williams. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press. [Download this extensive review of research on Demography and Development here]
After four months of political unrest and more than 250 deaths, the calls for Nicaragua’s embattled president Daniel Ortega to step down are escalating. One of political demography’s most robust statistical findings tells us that countries where an authoritarian government rules a youthful population, any change in regime typically yields an autocracy or at best, a partial democracy. Only very rarely has a liberal democracy emerged immediately after a rebellion in a youthful country (one with a population with a median age under 26 years). Given this, if Ortega is ousted from office, what type of leader should foreign affairs analysts expect to replace him?
There are good reasons to be optimistic. Nicaragua—now with a median age between 26 and 27 years—is no longer a youthful country. Fertility declined from around 6 children per woman in 1980 to about 2.2 today, gradually shifting Nicaragua into the intermediate phase of its age-structural transition, which (according to the National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends report) stretches from a median age of 26 to 35 years. More ….
Read the rest of the NSB essay on Nicaragua/Latin America here.
Everybody Counts (by Jennifer Sciubba) is a podcast about all the ways human population shapes our world. From mass urbanization to massive refugee flows, high fertility to record low birth rates, population trends have social, political, and economic consequences. The world’s population is changing in unprecedented ways, and this podcast helps listeners make sense of those changes. Listen (& subscribe) to Jennifer Sciubba’s (professor, Rhodes College) podcast at this site: Everybody Counts.
Are younger countries at higher risk of civil conflict? The International Crisis Group’s 2018 list of 10 conflicts to watch suggests they might be: Like last year, intra-state conflicts (civil and ethnic conflicts within states, rather than wars between states) dominate the list, and among those, about 70 percent are within youthful countries, or states with a median age of 25.5 years or
younger. The only multi-state cluster mentioned in both 2017 and 2018 lists is the Sahel, the world’s most youthful region.
However, recent studies indicate that population youthfulness can be a less reliable and more unruly predictor than its proponents (including me) initially perceived. Three key factors complicate the relationship between age structure and intra-state conflict: conflict type (civil or territorial); conflict history; and conflict spillover (the cross-border spread of insurgencies among contiguous clusters of youthful countries).