Tim Dyson – On the Demographic Basis of Democratization

Event Date: 7 November 2016
Keynes Library
43 Gordon Square
Birkbeck, University of London
London WC1H 0PD

The Birkbeck Institute for Social Research presents:

Professor Tim Dyson (LSE) – On the Demographic Basis of Democratization

This talk maintains that the processes of the demographic transition have played a major role in bringing about the democratic transition. Using the median age of a population as an indicator of the extent to which it has progressed through the demographic transition—especially with respect to the concurrent processes of fertility decline, slowing population growth, and population aging—it shows that there was a relatively close relationship in Europe between the democratic and demographic transitions. Moreover, progress with respect to the demographic transition is also important in accounting for variation between countries with respect to democracy in recent decades. Theoretically and empirically, the case for a demographic basis of democratization is stronger than for an economic one. The talk draws on Tim Dyson (2013) ‘On demographic and democratic transitions’, Population and Development Review 38(Supp.): 83-101, and Ben Wilson and Tim Dyson (2016) ‘Democracy and the demographic transition’, Democratization.

Introduction by Professor Eric Kaufmann (Birkbeck):

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