Course 2014-2015 a.y.



Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31
CLEAM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-S/04) - CLEF (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-S/04) - CLEACC (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-S/04) - BESS-CLES (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-S/04) - BIEMF (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-S/04)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Course Objectives

The course discusses the interrelationships between population dynamics and social and economic dynamics, in a comparative and international perspective. After an introduction on the long-term developments of the world population, the course focuses on key demographic issues concerning present times: sustainable development and the future of the world population, demographic problems in developing countries and in the Western world, population policies and the analysis of demographic data. The topics and tools presented are useful for students interested in the functioning of international markets, mid-long term economic dynamics, population history, sustainable development, inequality and the role of international organizations. The course has an introductory and applied style.

Course Content Summary

  • Long-term dynamics of the world population. The Demographic Transition: a passage from constraint to choice?
  • Some analytical demographic tools for the study of population dynamics.
  • Land, labor and population. Malthus and Boserup.
  • Contemporary population problems in developing countries. Comparative case studies: China and India.
  • Population and environment.
  • Contemporary population problems in Europe and other developed countries. The Second Demographic Transition. Low fertility and population ageing. The situation in countries in transition.
  • International migrations: theories, evidence, political debate.
  • International demographic research: institutions, data sources, methods. Demographic indicators used in the study of human development, large-scale comparative survey projects.
  • The post-transition regime: towards a convergence of demographic behavior? The international and European situation.
  • The uncertain future of population: forecasts and projections.

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

For attending
  • a partial written exam on the first part of the course and another partial written exam on the second part of the course. Note that the mark obtained for the first partial written exam is not valid after the second written partial exam.
  • an oral exam on the full program for attending students (selected chapters and teaching material on LS).
For non-attending
  • an oral exam on both books (all chapters) and teaching material on LS.


For attending
  • M. LIVI BACCI, A Concise History of World Population, Wiley & Sons Ltd., 2006, 4th ed.
A selection of articles and other materials provided by the instructor
For non-attending
  • M. LIVI BACCI, A Concise History of World Population, Wiley & Sons Ltd., 2006, 4th ed.
  • J.R. WEEKS, An Introduction to Population, Published by Cengage Learning, 2012, 11th ed. (only for non-attending students).
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)
Last change 18/06/2014 15:21