Friday, May 27, 2011

Demographics: The Ratio of Revolution
INSEAD Working Paper 2011/42/DS 
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The demographic metrics and inflationary circumstances that framed the January 2011 revolution in Egypt’s Tahrir Square were almost identical to those prevailing in Japan during the 1968 violent student-led revolts, in the United States when millions demonstrated against the Vietnam War in the late 1960s to early 1970s, and in China when hundreds of thousands converged on Tiananmen Square in 1989. Disenchantment by growing numbers of unemployed youth develops into anti-government revolutionary potential when rapidly rising inflation enters the picture. This paper identifies time periods when two demographic metrics suggest a nation is ripe for revolution.