Dangerous Youth: why Do Political Uprisings Take an Unarmed Form?

Publication type Article
Status Published
National Research University “Higher School of Economics”
Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration
Address: Moscow, Russia
Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Address: Moscow, Russia
National Research University “Higher School of Economics”
Institute for African Studies RAS
Address: Moscow, Russia
Journal nameSotsiologicheskie issledovaniya
EditionIssue 5

Quantitative cross-national studies of the factors of violent (armed) versus nonviolent (unarmed) revolutionary events are very few, and they do not pay enough attention to such a powerful factor as a high proportion of young people in the total adult population – the “youth bulge”. We assume that (1) revolutionary uprisings in countries with a greater youth bulge will be significantly more likely to take armed form than in countries with a significantly lower value of this indicator. We also assume that (2) the higher the median age of the population, the higher the likelihood for a revolutionary uprising take an unarmed character. In general, both of our hypotheses are fully confirmed. Thus, there is a reason to believe that the significant increase in the median age of the population observed at the global level in the recent decades could have contributed to a noticeable decrease in the share of armed revolutionary uprisings and an increase in the share of unarmed ones.

Keywordsyouth bulge, median age, political instability, violent revolutionary uprisings, nonviolent revolutionary uprisings
AcknowledgmentThe research was a part of the HSE Basic Research Program in 2023 with the support of the Russian Science Foundation (Project No. 21-18-00123).
Publication date12.07.2023
Number of characters26072
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