DHP P209M: Demography and National Security
Demography is a critical factor in explaining the stability of states, it is often missed by both policymakers and academics until it is too late. Why is it missed? Policy makers tend to be focused on immediate crises and events, while population change happens over the longer term, in slow motion. Academics tend to favor immediate and direct causal factors in explaining political instability, war and state death. How demography impacts societies and politics is too complex and too messy for contemporary analysis that tends to emphasize the search for causality through formal modeling and statistical methods. This course seeks to remedy these oversights by providing an introduction to key concepts and trends related to the study of populations and what it means to international and states' national security. While demographers ask and answer questions such as ‘how many people, of what kind, and where?' (facts of change); and ‘why did this come about?' (determinants of change), international relations and national security experts need to understand why this matters (consequences of change). The goal is to build an understanding that enables scholars to better inform policy makers, and policy makers to be better prepared to grasp the opportunities and ameliorate the risks that demographic changes present.