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Women and the Demography-Security Nexus

Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012

When assigning homework exercises for a survey course that I teach on American foreign policy, I tell my students that no matter how strong the arguments they use to defend their positions, if they neglect to examine how demographic trends will affect their proposals, they will get an F.

What is true for my students is true for global policymakers: Demographic trends will shape our future in a much more profound sense than most of the developments we see on the front page of the New York Times. Four major demographic trends in particular will shape the global security landscape this century: differential fertility rates across nations, differential fertility rates within nations, differential sex ratios across nations and differential mortality rates across nations. ...

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