This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Thursday, November 6, 2014

ISIS Confronts the Demographics of Syria and Iraq

So, meanwhile in the Middle East...it turns out that the advance of ISIS has apparently been slowed by a combination of bombing that has forced it to change its conquest strategies, and--wait for it--demographics. According to the New York Times:
One main factor in the shift has been demographics. ISIS thrives in poor, Sunni Arab areas that have lost their connection to the central state. The Sunni-led uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in Syria opened up such areas there. And the neglect of such areas in Iraq during the tenure of former Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki made them an opportunity for the jihadists. 
But after months of steady expansion, the Islamic State has taken most of these areas in Iraq while failing to seize areas with non-Sunni populations. And although it could still expand in Syria, the group also faces resistance from rival rebel groups there.
“ISIS can only expand in areas where it can enter into partnerships with the local population, and that largely limits the scope of the expansion of ISIS to Sunni, disenfranchised areas,” said Lina Khatib, the director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut.
There is still a long way to go in fighting ISIS, but let's hear it for the positive influence of demographics! 

1 comment:

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