Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Political Demography: How Population Changes are Reshaping International Security and National Politics

Political Demography: How Population Changes are Reshaping International Security and National Politics

  • December 13, 2011
Jack Goldstone

Hazel Professor of Public Policy, George Mason University

Monica Duffy Toft

Professor of Government, Kennedy School of Government Harvard University

Richard Cincotta

The Stimson Center, Washington DC

This year, according to the UN, the world passed 7 billion in population-with another 3 billion on the way by the end of this century. Political Demography examines the impact this population surge will have on international security and on political conflicts in the U.S., Europe, and developing nations. The authors explore the effects of rapid aging in the rich countries, the youth surge in the developing world, and mounting pressures for international global migration. They also examine how population changes are shifting the balance among religious and ethnic groups in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa; how patterns of aging and urbanization will affect the spread of democracy abroad, and how shifts in the composition of the U.S. population will affect America’s party alignments and election results.

Jack A. Goldstone holds the Virginia E. and John T. Hazel Chair in Public Policy at George Mason University in Arlington, VA. He is a Senior Fellow of the Mercatus Center and a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of “The New Population Bomb” which appeared in Foreign Affairs in 2010, and “Understanding the Revolutions of 2011” which appeared in Foreign Affairs in 2011, as well as the author or editor of 9 books and over 100 research articles. Goldstone has won the American Sociological Association Award for Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship, the Arnoldo Momigliano Award of the Historical Society, and Fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies. In 2010-2011 he was a Phi Beta Kappa visiting scholar, and in 2011 was the Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Visitor at the American Academy in Berlin.

Monica Duffy Toft is Associate Professor of Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and Director of the Belfer Center’s Initiative on Religion in International Affairs, which was established with a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. Her research interests include religion and politics, nationalism and ethnic conflict, civil and interstate wars, the relationship between demography and national security, international relations theory, and military and strategic planning. A 2008 Carnegie Scholar, Professor Toft is the author of Securing The Peace: The Durable Settlement of Civil Wars (Princeton University Press, 2009) and The Geography of Ethnic Conflict: Identity, Interests, and Territory (Princeton University Press, 2003). Most recently, Prof. Toft is co-author of God’s Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics (W.W. Norton, 2011). She is also co-editor of The Fog of Peace: Strategic and Military Planning under Uncertainty (Routledge, 2006).

Dr. Richard Cincotta is Demographer in Residence at the Stimson Center. His research focuses on the demographic transition and human migration, and their relationships to political, economic, and environmental change. His publications on these topics have appeared in Foreign Policy, Nature, and Science magazines. He contributed to the National Intelligence Council’s most recent global futures exercise, Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World (2009) and the Geneva Declaration Secretariat’s Global Burden of Armed Violence (2008).

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Related Material(s)

Slides from Goldstone presentation.

Slides from Cincotta presentation.