Youth bulge and civil war: Why a country’s share of young adults explains only non-ethnic wars

Omer Yair*, Dan Miodownik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Scholars agree that young men carry out most acts of political violence. Still, there is no consensus on the link between relatively large youth cohorts and the onset of violent, armed intra-state conflicts. In this paper, we examine the effect of youth bulge, a measure of the relative abundance of youth in a country, on the onset of two different types of civil wars—ethnic and non-ethnic wars. Building on and extending three datasets used by other scholars, we theoretically argue and empirically substantiate that, as a result of the negative effects of youth bulge on the economic conditions of the youth cohorts in the country, youth bulge affects the onset of non-ethnic wars, but not the onset of ethnic wars. Possible implications and directions for further research are then suggested.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)25-44
Number of pages20
JournalConflict Management and Peace Science
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, © The Author(s) 2014.

Keywords

  • Civil war
  • ethnic conflicts
  • non-ethnic conflicts
  • youth bulge

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