The Youth Bulge in Arab
Countries
Alisa Tukkimaki
Godwin Dossou
Crystal Kwan
Some Definitions
Young Population:
A population with the percentage of ages 1–14 over 30%
and ages 75 and above under 6% is considered a "young
population``
Aging Population:
•
A population with the percentage of ages 1-14 under 30%
and ages 75 and above over 6% is considered an "aging
population"
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_pyramid#Young_and_ageing_populations
The Youth Bulge Theory
•
`…an excess in especially young adult male population predictably leads to social
unrest, war and terrorism as the "third and fourth sons" that find no prestigious
positions in their existing societies rationalize their impetus to compete by religion
or political ideology.``
•
A German sociologist and economist named Gunnar Heinsohn developed this
theory
•
``Heinsohn claims that most historical periods of social unrest lacking external
triggers (such as rapid climatic changes or other catastrophic changes of the
environment) and most genocides can be readily explained as a result of a built up
youth bulge, including European colonialism, 20th century Facism, and ongoing
conflicts such as that in Darfur, The Palestinian uprisings in 1987-1993 and 2000
to present, and terrorism.``
•
Proponents of the theory: U.S. Political Scientist Jack Goldstein (the new
population bomb), U.S. Political Scientist Gary Fuller
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_pyramid#Youth_bulge
Changes in Global Demography
•Population aging at unprecedented rates in developed countries:
``In 2050, approximately 30 percent of Americans, Canadians, Chinese,
and Europeans will be over 60, as will more than 40 percent of Japanese
and South Koreans.``
Source: Goldstone, J. (2010). The new population bomb: the four megatrends that will change the world. Foreign Affairs,
89(1): 31-43.
•The concentration of the global youth population in developing countries:
•developing countries have the highest birthrates
•As stated by UN Secretary-General in his Millennium Report, “More than 1 billion
people are between the ages of 15 and 24. Nearly 40 % of the world’s population is
below the age of 20.Most of the resulting youth bulge, nearly 98%, will occur in the
developing world”
Source: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/pdf/MDG%20Report%202010%20En%20r15%20-low%20res%2020100615%20-.pdf
Arab Countries: “Youthful Societies”
Youth Population
•2005: totaled 65,680 million
•2015: projected to increase to
71,704 million
•2025: and then to 79,452 million
``It is envisaged that this
increased population in the young age of 15-24 in the overall
population resulted in the most rapid
growth in the number of young people in the region’s history.``
Source: http://www.escwa.un.org/divisions/div_editor/Download.asp?table_name=divisions_news&field_name=ID&FileID=682
The Big Question: So What?
How does the increasing high concentration of
the global youth in Arab countries
influence international social policy?
A Left Perspective: A look at Pakistan
“While Pakistan’s bloated youth cohort and a noticeable
desire among young men to attain education and find
respectable livelihoods could act as an agent for positive
change in ideal circumstances, a proactive and multi-faceted
policy approach is required to generate desirable
outcomes.” (Brookings Institute)
A Left Perspective: A look at Pakistan
Factors within Pakistan society that increase potential for
youth radicalization:
•poor education system
•highly stratified socio-economic lines
•disparate economic opportunities across segments of society
•presence of an extremist infrastructure
•impeccable organizational discipline
•widespread social networks of Pakistan’s Islamic political and
militant outfits
•A failure of the moderate forces to deliver credible results
•myopic U.S. policies further enhance Islamist influence
Source:http://www.brookings.edu/papers/2008/10_pakistan_yusuf.aspx
A Left Perspective: A look at Pakistan
“Given Pakistan’s strategic importance and its potential to
disrupt South Asian peace, the international community
has a high stake in ensuring a positive turnaround.”
(Brookings Institute)
A Left Perspective: A look at Pakistan
U.S. policy intervention for Pakistan should include:
•Focusing on Pakistan’s educational system:
•“Enhancing the quality of Pakistan’s public education rather than retaining a
disproportionate focus on the madrassah system.”
•“Intervening in terms of the educational content, with modest agenda of simply returning the
textbook contents to the pre-Islamization period.”
•“Making socio-economic aid conditional upon Pakistan’s ability to spread benefits to the
masses instead of tying it solely to terrorism.”
•“Revising U.S. visa and immigration policies for young Pakistanis in order to provide
them with a constructive outlet, perhaps through a formal protocol that allows
disproportional access to young Pakistani citizens belonging to lower socio-economic
classes.”
•“Consciously attempting to expose young Pakistanis to U.S. culture by reopening
information and cultural centers throughout Pakistan”
A Perspective
from the
Centre:
The Economic and Social
Commission of Western Asia
(ESCWA, division of the UN)
“The age structure of the Arab population is changing, thus ensuring the
emergence of what has been termed the ‘Youth Bulge’…It is envisaged that this
increased population in the young age of 15-24 in the overall population resulted
in the most rapid growth in the number of young people in the region’s
history…Managing this increase… will be an enormous challenge for Arab
governments, and the economic, social and political consequences of failing to do
so could be serious.” (ESWCA, 2008)
A Perspective
from the
Centre:
The Economic and Social
Commission of Western Asia
(ESCWA, division of the UN)
Two Opposing Views
The youth bulge is a
“demographic gift,” the large
number of youth is seen as
an asset, for political and
social opportunities
The youth bulge is a problem in
this region, having negative
political and social implications
A Perspective
from the
Centre:
The Economic and Social
Commission of Western Asia
(ESCWA, division of the UN)
Policy Recommendations:
•
Integrate youth in development programs
Example: World Programme of Action on Youth
(WPAY)
•Focus on International Migration and Development
•Knowledge and skill building in the Arab region in the area of
demographic analysis
Example: “Methods of Integrating Demographic transition in
Development Plans and Programmes in Arab regions”
A Right Perspective: The World Bank and IMF
“Countries with younger populations are more prone to
civil unrest and less able to create or sustain democratic
institutions”
– Richard Cincotta
A Right Perspective: The World Bank and IMF
The Concerns:
Unemployment: its
impact on local and
global economies
and markets
Social
Social
Dislocation:
Dislocation:its
its
relationship
relationshipwith
with
conflict
conflict
A Right Perspective: The World Bank and IMF
• Youth unemployment rate may be four times the adult rate in some
countries
• Many countries have no way to employ these youth or absorb them
into the labour market
• A drain on all local systems
• Most youth do not have access to primary education
• Raising instability within local/international labour market is
increasing the risk of political and social turmoil.
Source: http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/MENAEXT/MOROCCOEXTN/0
A Right Perspective: The World Bank and IMF
Social Dislocation
• Conflict and instability greatly impact youth prospects
• Youth may play a key role in the instability
• Enormous impact on international relations, foreign aid, investments,
government spending and global markets.
Source:
http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/MENAEXT/MOROCCOEXTN/0,,contentMDK:220908
13~pagePK:1497618~piPK:217854~theSite
A Right Perspective: The World Bank and IMF
Solutions!! AKA Human Capital
1.
•
•
•
2.
•
•
3.
•
•
Ease the labour market entry
Ask for a loan from the WTO (Yemen)
Provide incentives for corporations to invest in local education/work
training programs
Trade; open your markets to international/neighbouring trade
Meet demand for higher skills
Reform (privatize) education systems
Provide more primary schools
Create Motivation
Incentives = contribution
Provide youth with information
Source:
http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/MENAEXT/MOROCCOEXTN/0,,contentMDK:220908
13~pagePK:1497618~piPK:217854~theSite
A Right Perspective: The World Bank and IMF
Is the Youth Bulge Good or Bad for the Right?
Good
• Large, economically-productive populations that
can drive economic gains
• The youth manpower market
• Influence technology and institutions innovation
• Create potential trade options
Bad
• Civil unrest: impact on trade (export/import prices)
(Yemen)
• Global drain of resources
• Changes in foreign policy and investors based in
the country
• Broken economies (Yemen)
Source: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2006/09/jimenez.htm
Discussion
• What are the differences and similarities between right or left
initiatives?
• Based on Modernization theory and dependency theory what
would be the repercussion of this policy proposal on Pakistan
society taking into consideration their national sovereignty?
•
Human capital development is one of the reasons behind China’s
economic growth. If economic growth leads to social development,
should the Arab countries look to China as a model for turning the
youth bulge into opportunity?