Senior adviser to the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR)
A large population is a necessary condition for being a global geopolitical player, but beyond the head count another key factor is human capital.
In the short run, the risk of demographic decline or low human capital does not affect authoritarian regimes’ will to show strength on the international stage – even if it is detrimental for them in the long run.
China’s spectacular rise to the status of a ‘superpower’ was associated with demographic factors that are now having a negative effect.
Thanks to its demographic profile (natural growth, educational level, and qualified immigration) the US still has a comparative advantage. But as for its demographic dynamism, there might be trouble in paradise.
Research director in demographics at EHESS and Emeritus research director at Ined
The geopolitical impact of migration remains low when considering relations between major powers, but it is more marked on a regional scale.
Some of the tensions within the European Union are based on the issue of migration and the use of migration to exert pressure on the EU by some of its neighbours is a new development.
Outside Europe, “climatic” migration nowadays takes place over very short distances.
The refugee phenomenon, both in Africa and in Europe, can affect the stability of states and their relations.
Journalist and Author
Editor of Telos and author, Richard Robert teaches at Sciences Po. He directed the Paris Innovation Review from 2012 to 2018. Latest books: Le Social et le Politique (dir., with Guy Groux and Martial Foucault), CNRS éditions, 2020, La Valse européenne (with Élie Cohen), Fayard, published in March 2021.