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The Politics of Population Change. Eric Kaufmann Professor of Politics, Birkbeck College, University of London. What of Unevenness?. World is not one cultural and political unit. If it were, no problem Power has shifted from empire to nation, from the rulers to the people since 1776/1789

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the politics of population change

The Politics of Population Change

Eric Kaufmann

Professor of Politics, Birkbeck College, University of London

what of unevenness
What of Unevenness?
  • World is not one cultural and political unit. If it were, no problem
  • Power has shifted from empire to nation, from the rulers to the people since 1776/1789
  • Spread of democracy (starting 18thc, esp. post-1980s)
  • A battle of numbers. Getting a majority now counts, i.e. Iraq, Syria, Bahrain…
uneven growth between
Uneven Growth Between:
  • World Region/Civilization
  • Nation
  • Ethnic group
  • Religion
  • Regions within a nation
international conflict
International Conflict

Countries’ population as % of Britain

Hedley Bull claims 100 million a threshold for Great Power

‘Boots on the Ground’ continues to matter as does scale economies for military procurement

Perceptions matter as much as reality

Rise of China?

demography and ethnic conflict northern ireland
Demography and Ethnic Conflict: Northern Ireland
  • "The basic fear of Protestants in Northern Ireland is that they will be outbred by the Roman Catholics. It is as simple as that." - Terence O’ Neill, Unionist PM of Northern Ireland after resigning, 1969
developing world transition more rapid
Developing World Transition More Rapid
  • At the end of the demographic transition Denmark 5 times greater population, Guatemala up to 24 times greater population.
age structure youth bulge
Age Structure (‘Youth Bulge’)
  • More young people – dependency ratio - poverty
  • More young people – unemployment - poverty
  • More young poor unemployed people – recruits for ethnic, class, religious violence
  • More young poor unemployed people – elite/middle class fear – autocracy
  • Aging population brings different effects
slide17
Direct Effect:

Ultra-Orthodox Salford

vs

mainstream Jewish Leeds

conclusion
Conclusion
  • Not just how much population, but how it is distributed across political, ethnic, religious units
  • Uneven growth and transition, coupled with numbers increasingly counting for power
  • Shifting within and between states
  • Both numbers and age structure affect politics