Political Demography, Demographic Engineering

Political Demography, Demographic Engineering

Political Demography, Demographic Engineering

Political Demography, Demographic Engineering

Synopsis

""Over the past decade, the impacts of demographic trends on international security and on peaceful relations between and within states have come to the fore in ways not seen since the aftermath of World War II. An evolving and more complex set of changes in the size, distribution, and composition of populations has become the basis for a new look at the security effects of changes in the size, distribution, and composition of populations. This book is an attempt to lay out the new look, to take issue with some of the prevailing views on the political consequences of population change and to suggest where the concerns are realistic and where they are not."" (From the Preface)

This book not only offers a magisterial analysis of the political effects of the dramatic population changes that are taking place in countries all around the world, it also represents the testimony of one of the most distinguished scholars in the field of migration and population studies.

Excerpt

Over the past decade, the impacts of demographic trends on international security and on peaceful relations between and within states have come to the fore in ways not seen since the aftermath of World War II. An evolving and more complex set of concerns over population has become the basis for a new look at the security effects of changes in the size, distribution, and composition of populations. This book is an attempt to lay out this new look, to take issue with some of the prevailing views on the political consequences of population change, and to suggest where the concerns are realistic and where they are not.

My initial interest in what I have called “political demography” began in the early 1970s when I undertook a study of the costs and benefits of migration to the local inhabitants of places in India to which migrants moved. Indian policy makers faced a genuine dilemma in the precise sense of a situation requiring a choice between two undesirables. On the one hand, providing special protection to some ethnic group meant denying equal opportunities to others, while on the other hand, not acting meant permitting the resentment of local people to fester. How to find a way in which local people belonging to one ethnic community could obtain greater equality in the employment market without at the same time restricting the opportunities of migrants and their descendants belonging to other ethnic groups seemed to be an intractable problem, for India as for other multiethnic societies.

While I was conducting research for that study (Weiner 1978), I was asked by Roger Revelle of Harvard’s Center for Population Studies, then Foreign Secretary of the National Academy of Sciences, to participate in a major National Academy study of the consequences and policy implications of rapid population . . .

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