IN SEARCH OF THEORY: PROSPECTS OF POPULATION RESEARCH IN COUNTRIES THAT HAVE COMPLETED THE DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSITION
Population and Economics 2(1): 1-38, doi: 10.3897/popecon.2.e36037
IN SEARCH OF THEORY: PROSPECTS OF POPULATION RESEARCH IN COUNTRIES THAT HAVE COMPLETED THE DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSITION
expand article infoM. Klupt
‡ The Saint-Petersburg State University of Economics, Russia
Open Access
Abstract
The article continues the discussion on the ways of further development of the demographic theory initiated by A.Vishnevsky’s article in the first issue of the journal. In the author’s opinion, Vishnevsky’s “demographic eschatology” is incompatible with real political practices, as evidenced, in particular, by the biographies of A.Landry, the creator of the theory of the demographic revolution, and K. Davis, one of the founders of the theory of demographic transition. Landry was never guided by “demographic fatalism” in his political activities and Davis, praising administrative methods of reducing fertility in the Asian countries, opposed passive expectation of the fruits of modernization. The article shapes the approaches to the theoretical understanding of population issues that lie outside the framework of the theory of the demographic revolution/transition: theorizing aimed at finding mechanisms, not laws; adaptation of theories developed in other scientific disciplines to the description of these mechanisms; interpretation of post-transition demographic development as a movement between attractors, the speed and direction of which is determined by available economic resources and established institutions. According to the author, the interaction of mortality, fertility and migration, which occupies a central place in Vishnevsky’s concept, cannot explain many of the problems associated with the impact of demographic development on the modern world. To analyze such problems, it is necessary to design systems that include not only demographic, but also social, economic and political variables. The possibilities of such an approach are shown on the example of a study of political & demographic mechanisms that led to the unexpected for most experts victory of supporters of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union and the election of D.Trump as the president of the United States.
Keywords
theory of the demographic revolution; theory of demographic transition; French pronatalizm; demographic fatalism; political demography; institution; mechanism; attractor