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Mershon Center Speaker Series
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Monica Toft
Death by Demography: How Population Changes Impact National Security
Thursday, November 30, 2017, 03:30pm - 05:00pm
Mershon Center for International Security Studies
1501 Neil Avenue, Room 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201

Monica Toftr

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Monica Toft is professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Diplomacy at Tufts University. Previously, she taught at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government and Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. While at Harvard, she directed the Initiative on Religion in International Affairs and was assistant director of the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies. 

Toft's areas of research include international security, ethnic and religious violence, civil wars and demography. Her most recent books include Securing the Peace (Princeton, 2011); Political Demography (Oxford, 2012); and God’s Century (Norton, 2012). In addition she has published numerous scholarly articles and editorials on civil wars, territory and nationalism, demography, and religion in global politics.

Toft is a research associate of the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford and at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. She is a supernumerary fellow at Brasenose College, University of Oxford, a global scholar of the Peace Research Institute Oslo, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Minorities at Risk Advisory Board and Political Instability Task Force. In 2008 the Carnegie Foundation of New York named her a Carnegie scholar for her research on religion and violence, in 2012 she was named a Fulbright scholar, and most recently served as the world politics fellow at Princeton University.

She was educated at the University of Chicago (M.A. and Ph.D. in political science) and at University of California, Santa Barbara (B.A. in political science and Slavic languages and literature, summa cum laude). She also spent four years in the United States Army as a Russian linguist.

Abstract

Every day the news is littered with stories about the implications of profound demographic shifts faced by the world's states and regions. From the end of China's one-child policy, to concern about an aging Europe and a quickly urbanizing Africa, our understanding of the broader dynamics at play is woefully underdeveloped. Academics seem reluctant to pursue a demographic line of inquiry for fear of not having a direct, causal story to tell. Policymakers, working under short time frames, often fail to appreciate the longer-term consequences of natural shifts or state-driven demographic engineering until it is too late. What remains is a series of conjectures driven by ideology, emotion and ignorance. Toft's research on the political dimensions of demographic dynamics in key states during critical historical periods aims to facilitate a better understanding of demographic politics — one that is both theoretically informed and policy relevant.

 

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