The ‘Youth Bulge,’ Urbanisation and Violent Conflict in the Developing World


Urdal, Henrik (2012). “Youth Bulges and Violence,” in Jack A. Goldstone, Eric Kaufmann and Monica Duffy Toft, eds. Political Demography: How Population Changes are Reshaping International Security and National Politics (Boulder: Paradigm).

Weber, Hannes (2019). “Age structure and political violence: a re-assessment of the “youth bulge” hypothesis.” International Interactions 45(1): 80-112.

The Youth Bulge

Bricker, Noah Q. and Mark C. Foley (2013). “The Effect of Youth Demographics on Violence: The Importance of the Labor Market.” International Journal of Conflict and Violence 7(1): 180-194.

Koos, Carlo and Clara Neupert-Wentz (2020). “Polygynous neighbors, excess men, and intergroup conflict in rural Africa.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 64, no. 2-3: 402-431.

Kustra, Tyler (2019). “Make Love, Not War: Do Single Young Men Cause Political Violence?” International Studies Quarterly 63(4): 890-896.

Nordås, Ragnhild, and Christian Davenport (2013). “Fight the youth: Youth bulges and state repression.” American Journal of Political Science 57(4): 926-940.

Sciubba, Jennifer D. (2011). The Future Faces of War: Population and National Security (Santa Barbara: Praeger), chapter 2.

Sommers, Marc (2011). “Governance, Security and Culture: Assessing Africa’s Youth Bulge.” International Journal of Conflict and Violence 5(2): 293-303.

Urdal, Henrik. (2006). “A clash of generations? Youth bulges and political violence.” International Studies Quarterly 50(3): 607-629.

Country Case Studies

Roche, Sophie. “From youth bulge to conflict: the case of Tajikistan.” Central Asian Survey 29(4) (2010): 405-419.

LaGraffe, Daniel (2012). “The youth bulge in Egypt: An intersection of demographics, security, and the Arab spring.” Journal of Strategic Security 5(2): 65-80.

Ozerim, Mehmet Gokay (2019). “Can the Youth Bulge Pose a Challenge for Turkey? A Comparative Analysis Based on MENA Region-Driven Factors.” Young 27(4): 414-434.


Buhaug, Halvard and Henrik Urdal (2013). “An urbanization bomb? Population growth and social disorder in cities.” Global Environmental Change 23(1): 1-10.

Raleigh, Clionadh (2015). “Urban violence patterns across African states.” International Studies Review 17(1): 90-106.

Schulz, Nicolai (2015). “Dangerous demographics? The effect of urbanisation and metropolisation on African civil wars, 1961–2010.” Civil Wars 17(3): 291-317.

Urdal, Henrik and Kristian Hoelscher (2012). “Explaining Urban Social Disorder and Violence: An Empirical Study of Event Data from Asian and Sub-Saharan African Cities.” International Interactions 38(4): 512-528.

Essay Question

• What is the relationship between youthful populations and violence in the developing world?

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