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Washington, U.S.A. — As World Population Day approaches, Wilson Center consultant and demographer Elizabeth Leahy Madsen says the Arab Spring demonstrates that countries with very young age structures are prone both to higher incidence of civil conflict and undemocratic governance. “Among the five countries where revolt took root, those with the earliest success in ousting autocratic leaders also had the most mature age structures and the least youthful populations,” she writes on the New Security Beat . What happens next in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Syria will further test the connection between youth and democracy discovered by fellow Wilson Center consulting demographer Richard Cincotta.
In South Asia, Madsen finds that as Afghanistan and Pakistan’s political circumstances have become more entwined, their demographic paths are more closely parallel than expected. “For Afghanistan, given its myriad socioeconomic, political, cultural, and geographic challenges, this is good news. But for Pakistan, where efforts to meet family planning needs have fallen short of capacity, it is not,” she writes in the first issue of the newly relaunched ECSP Report, “Afghanistan, Against the Odds: A Demographic Surprise.”
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Since 1994, the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) has actively pursued the connections between the environment, health, population, development, conflict, and security. ECSP brings together scholars, policymakers, the media, and practitioners through events, research, publications, multimedia content (audio and video), and our award-winning blog, New Security Beat. The Environmental Change and Security Program Report 14 is the latest volume of ECSP’s flagship publication. Published since 1996, ECSP Report is now an online series of policy briefs.
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