Demographic Factors and Civil War

Authored by: Gudrun Østby , Henrik Urdal

Routledge Handbook of Civil Wars

Print publication date:  February  2014
Online publication date:  February  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415622585
eBook ISBN: 9780203105962
Adobe ISBN: 9781136255786


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In “The coming anarchy,” Robert Kaplan (1994) argues that anarchy and the crumbling of nation states will be attributed to demographic and environmental factors in the future. After the Cold War, demography has indeed claimed a strong position in the security discourse. Most of the attention has been devoted to two arguably distinctive sets of population–conflict dynamics; the effect of population growth on dwindling resources, and the importance of age structure transitions, or “youth bulges.” However, other demographic factors such as differential population growth between ethnic groups and rapid urbanization have also been suggested as potential triggers of violent conflict.

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