Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 11 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

For the early theorists of warfare, its relation to demography was a simple one. Do not seek to conquer larger or more populous states, counselled the fourth-century bc strategic analyst to the Mauryan Empire, Kautilya, for it will beggar the exchequer and they will defeat you. Going by numbers alone, the North was more likely to win the US Civil War than the South, because they had a 21 million population against the South's 9 million; of course, this would imply similar levels of skill and technology. While it is a truism to say numbers count, the question is how much? Does demography have as strong a causal relation to warfare as it does, say, to health or voting? Conversely, does warfare have as strong a link to demography as it does to regime type or major political transition? Can population data help predict the probability and triggers of conflict? And is there a stronger link between demography and warfare when it comes to certain types of conflict — such as ethnic and/or resource wars? This article argues that the relationship between demography and warfare is a complex one, and causal connections cannot be easily drawn. Having said this, causality is easier shown in certain types of conflict (such as ethnic wars) than in others (such as resource wars).

Keywords: demography, warfare, causal relation, regime type, political transition, ethnic war

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.