Story of the Decade: Population Dynamics (and Women and Water) Top List of Our Most Popular Posts

This One Goes to 11.

Eleven years ago this week, the New Security Beat began covering population, environment, and conflict connections. Today, our goal remains the same as in 2007: to provide insight on today’s new security threats and to share overlooked opportunities for cooperation. As we wrote then, “countries in crises often share the problems of rapid population growth and deteriorating environmental resources”: and unfortunately, the same trends continue undermine peace and deepen poverty. But we’ve also analyzed notable global efforts, including the Sustainable Development Goals and the growing resilience agenda, that offer hope for progress.

Over 11 years, we’ve published expert opinions and analysis on everything from combating climate change with condoms to how snow leopards can help build peace. But the top posts of all time share a remarkably consistent theme: What is the role of population dynamicsfertility rates, urbanization, and impacts on water and food—in shaping the future, particularly for people living in the most poorest and most vulnerable countries? Women’s empowerment and natural resource conflicts round out the picture, and show that our audience is as committed as we are to understanding the role of critical cross-cutting issues in solving global challenges.

While maintaining our resolutely intersectoral and transdisciplinary perspective has been challenging at times, we’ve never wavered in our commitment to reporting on the “spaces between.” With the departure of Roger-Mark De Souza, 2018 promises big changes for our team, but under the leadership of Acting Director Lauren Herzer, we will continue to look behind the headlines to expose the undercovered links that undermine our national security and highlight the untold stories and overlooked solutions that can build cooperation and peace.

We hope you’ll check out the top stories below and send us your ideas for the next 11 years. To quote the favorite movie of our founding editor, Geoff Dabelko: This one goes to 11.

  1. Why Has the Demographic Transition Stalled in Sub-Saharan Africa? by Elizabeth Leahy Madsen
  2. Challenging Patriarchy: The Changing Definition of Women’s Empowerment by Donald Borenstein
  3. What Can Governments Do About Falling Birth Rates by Paris Achenbach and Moses Jackson
  4. India’s Maoists: South Asia’s “Other” Insurgency by Schuyler Null
  5. The Great Anatolia Project: Is Water Management a Panacea or Crisis Multiplier for Turkey’s Kurds? by Ilektra Tsakalidou
  6. Water Wars? Think Again: Conflict Over Freshwater Structural Rather Than Strategic by Cameron Harrington
  7. Water and Population: Limits to Growth? by Laurie Mazur
  8. National Intelligence Council Releases ‘Global Trends 2030’: Prominent Roles Predicted for Demographic and Environmental Trends by Schuyler Null and Kate Diamond
  9. Urbanization and the Global Climate Dilemma by Will Rogers
  10. Taming Hunger in Ethiopia: The Role of Population Dynamics by Laurie Mazur 
  11. New UN Population Projections Released: Pockets of High Fertility Drive Overall Increase by Elizabeth Leahy Madsen

Photo Credit: Market in Ibadan, Nigeria, courtesy of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture. Chart and Table Credit: Elizabeth Leahy Madsen.