For a long time International Relations did not pay much attention to population studies and it took the end of the Cold War to find new attention to global phenomena even included global demographic trends and their implications. Yet such an attention is still limited in academia and fails to find its place in the pages of many leading reviews of the discipline. This is rather surprising given the relevance of demographic trends on the overall future of international politics. The aim of this article is to contribute to the recent literature that shows the relevance of demographic trends for international politics. In particular, the article aims to shed light on two main issues likely to have a major impact on Europe: population growth and ageing. If these phenomena can be considered as global trends, in Europe they compound themselves to depict a particularly worrying scenario for the future. As a matter of fact, while all world regions will experience significant ageing of their populations, the effect of such an event in Europe is particularly troublesome as in this region (contrary to others) it is combined with a declining population. Moreover, when considering trends in other dimensions, and especially in the economic domain, the added effect of demographic decline and aging assumes an ever worrying significance. The net effect on Europe’s internal balances and its stance in the world are due to be affected. In conclusions, demographic dynamics are worth considering if Europe is to remain a relevant and influential actor in the global landscape.
- European Union