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The Politics of Population Change: Immigration, Ageing and Conflict


    Module description

    This module will develop your understanding of political demography, the way population change affects politics and political actors attempt to control populations. You will consider the core aspects of demography - age structure, migration, fertility and mortality - and how they affect identity and politics, and compare demography's first and second-order, direct and interactive, effects on politics. You will also compare primordialist, ethnosymbolist and constructionist theories of nationalism and religion, and consider how these offer different predictions regarding the effect of demographic change on nationalism, religion, right-wing populism and ethnic politics. Finally you will become familiar with debates in the spheres of population ageing and youth bulges, immigration and identity, nationalist populism, urbanisation and the population-environment-conflict nexus.

    The main aims of the module are:

    • to introduce you to the fiscal, economic, military and foreign policy implications of demographic change
    • to promote cross-disciplinary understanding of relevant theoretical approaches in political science and demography
    • to demonstrate the use of appropriate quantitative methods in analysing issues in political demography.

    Learning objectives

    By the end of this module, you will be able to:

    • understand the key elements of demography and their interrelationships
    • demonstrate detailed substantive knowledge of the different forms of political demography
    • understand the strengths and weaknesses of the dominant theories of nationalism and ethno-religious conflict
    • apply these theories to questions of demographic change, populist right voting and identity conflict
    • demonstrate cognitive skills, including critical evaluation and analytical investigation
    • engage in critical discussion.