SO/GE 341 - Demographic Challenges in a Globalized World: Spain in the International Context

The increase in the world's population has been (and still is) used as a scapegoat for the evils that haunt the earth: poverty, hunger, global warming, ecological damage, deforestation, biodiversity threat, depletion of the seas, energy shortages, migration flows, etc. What is true in all this? The course will present a plural view of the different theoretical currents on the relationship between population, on the one hand, and economic development and ecological threats, on the other.

The course will also analyze a number of demographic aspects that Western societies have experienced (although we will make a special mention of the transformations experienced by Spanish society) and that greatly condition their future: the strong decline in fertility (well below the level of generational replacement), the process of population aging, concentration of population in cities and depopulation of rural areas, etc. Nor will we forget to analyze another demographic aspect of vital importance that is of great concern to policy makers and the general population: international migration flows. Fears towards foreigners, especially in times of economic crisis, are felt both in countries with a long tradition of migration (United States, Germany, United Kingdom ...), as well as in new immigrant recipients (Spain). The course will analyze the causes and consequences of migratory flows (both for receiving countries and for countries of origin).

All these themes will be supported with numerous examples from the specific analysis of the Spanish socio-demographic reality, but without doubt, its conclusions will transcend other areas of the Western world. Official data will be offered on which the different theoretical paradigms are based. Students will actively participate in the search for information (from the United Nations, the World Bank and many other international agencies, national statistical offices) to ratify or contradict the approaches made in class.

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