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  You are in: Home > Middle East Studies > Arab Political Demography  

Arab Political Demography
Population Growth, Labor Migration and Natalist Policies
Revised and Expanded Third Edition

Onn Winckler

Onn Winckler is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Middle Eastern History at the University of Haifa. He is the author of Demographic Developments and Population Policies in Ba’thist Syria, and co-editor of Modern Syria, as well as the author of a book on Jordanian demographic developments.


From a review of the second edition: “This volume makes a valuable contribution to the Arab population policy literature by tracing the evolution of population policies in the Arab countries and by describing the factors that led to changes in these policies.” Studies in Family Planning

The Arab Spring exposed the fundamental weakness of the non-oil Arab economies, namely, the imbalance between population growth and the labor market, resulting in the emergence of structural unemployment among young adults. By the early 2000s these economies faced impossible circumstances: in order to achieve substantial economic growth they had to reduce subsidies and increase privatization – economic policies that led to a deterioration of the living standards of the vast majority of the population. The Arab Spring created a new category in the region, that of “failed Arab state”, characterized by a fallen “old regime” without a competent new regime to replace it. Civil wars resulted, along lines of religious or ethnic division, as in Syria (‘Alawites against Sunnis), Iraq (Shi’is against Sunnis and Kurds against Arabs) and in Yemen (Shi‘is against Sunnis). Regional divisions accounted for the civil war in Libya. The other side of the “new Arab map” is the Arabian Gulf oil states which continue to function as before, both politically and socioeconomically.

Chapter 1 places Arab countries in the global demographic picture. Chapter 2 examines the quantity of the demographic records of Arab countries. Chapter 3 deals with patterns of population growth of Arab countries. Chapter 4 analyzes the emergence of employment pressure. Chapter 5 discusses intra-Arab labor migration. Chapter 6 analyzes natalist policies. The Concluding Chapter examines the “demographic fingerprint” of the Arab Spring which not only was the “core” of the revolution, but also its main consequence in the form of drawing the new political map of the Arab region according to an ethno-religious composition.

List of Contents to follow
Reviews to follow


Publication Details

Hardback ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:
Page Extent / Format:
352 pp. / 246 x 171 mm
Release Date:
May 2017
  Illustrated:   Yes
Hardback Price:
£110.00 / $140.00
Paperback Price:
£55.00 / $75.00

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