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At its root, the importance of the link between demography and war is the relative capacity of a given political unit’s population to aid in its defense or to threaten other political units. For this reason, population increase and decrease have always been identified as vital security issues; however, the importance of raw population as an increment of state power has waxed and waned across time in response to technological innovations and broad normative social changes


About the Author

Monica Duffy Toft

Associate Professor of Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
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Environmental Change and Security Program

The Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) explores the connections between environmental change, health, and population dynamics and their links to conflict, human insecurity, and foreign policy.  Read more