In Revolution and Rebellion in the Early Modern World, I showed that turning points in global population trends have been driving waves of political stability or crisis for at least the last 500 years. We are currently seeing a new turning point, as rich countries enter a period of workforce decline and emerging markets divide into those with falling fertility vs. stable and still-high fertility. Drawing on experience from previous centuries in Europe and Asia, we can forecast political trends; these include a new wave of revolutions in Africa and the Middle East and a surge in populist and protectionist politics in Europe and the U.S., but also eventual peaceful transitions to democracy in Russia and China.
Jack A. Goldstone (PhD Harvard) is the Virginia E. and John T. Hazel, Jr. Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University. Previously, Dr. Goldstone was on the faculty of Northwestern University and the University of California, and has been a visiting scholar at Cambridge University and the California Institute of Technology. He is the author of Revolution and Rebellion in the Early Modern World, awarded the 1993 Distinguished Scholarly Research Award of the American Sociological Association; Why Europe? The Rise of the West in World History; and co-editor of Political Demography: How Population Changes are Reshaping International Security and National Politics. He has been a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study at Stanford University, and won Fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies. He has also won the Arnoldo Momigliano Award of the Historical Society, the Myron Weiner award of the International Studies Association, and been Holbrooke lecturer at the American Academy in Berlin. His current research focuses on conditions for building democracy and stability in developing nations, the impact of population change on the global economy and international security, and the cultural origins of modern economic growth.