Differential Population Growth Rates and the Impact on National and Strategic Security

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 83
Words: 22449
Reading time:
76 min
Study level: Master


An in-depth study and analysis of the causal relationships found in the study of migration phenomena in the context of demographic security are central to this thesis. To be more specific, the paper examined the migration states of the United States, Russia, Germany, France, and the Middle Eastern regions over the past half-century: based on the data studied, it was concluded that ethnic and religious breakdowns within a community are the most critical catalyst for the formation of social conflicts and interethnic tensions. A literature review, supported by systematic analysis, was chosen as the working tool of the study: the use of numerous scientific and social works allowed for a critical analysis of the problem.

It was shown that there is a correlation between the number of migrants on the territory of the recipient country and the threat to social and economic security. However, individual scenarios depend on the effectiveness of government management and migration policies. For the interested reader, this work will be useful and informative first of all to form some conclusions concerning the migration problem: the importance of managing the flows, the need to form a culture of tolerance, and to preserve the framework of national security in the era of globalization processes.


Research Background

Demographic factors were identified as key ones to violent conflict in developing regions. Conflicts, which are considered mainly in the plane of politics, often have their roots in demographic issues. Recognition of these relationships is key to understanding or preventing such conflicts. An American memorandum prepared by the United States National Security Council in 1974 stated that global population growth is an urgent danger of the highest level, requiring urgent action (Clowes, 2020).

Wherever the population exceeds existing resources or grows faster than these resources, there is a tendency to various upheavals and violence, and even destructive international politics or international violence (Coats, 2019). In developing countries, the situation is observed under which the demographic factors influence, acting alongside others, will negatively affect unstable governments, often being only minimally effective in a favorable situation, and paving the way for extremist nature regimes.

Moreover, in the development of the modern world, there is a combination of two opposing trends of globalization and regionalization, which is expressed in the concept of “glocalization.” Globalization processes lead to the intensification of international migration, which is becoming one of the critical factors for national and regional stability. Many events, especially those related to terrorism, are closely intertwined with the world’s demographic processes since the middle of the 20th century. From a global perspective, the most obvious is the accelerated population growth of the world over the past century, called the population explosion (Henderson & Loreau, 2019).

Although the population growth rate has slowed slightly, the effects of this explosion are still noticeable and are most pronounced in the change in balance in the whole geopolitical alignment of the world’s population.

Today’s developing countries have always been the most crowded due to the contributions of China and India. If by the middle of the 20th century the share of developed countries increased and by the 1960s reached about one-third of the total world population, there has been a downward trend in the fertility index in a number of developed countries in recent decades: this could result in the population of such countries shrinking by more than half by the end of this century (Rafferty, 2020; Vollset et al., 2020).

This imbalance means population growth is uneven in a territorial settlement. The mismatch of the population and the territories becomes especially noticeable when the population grows and increases in a short time. Demographic reasons will inevitably lead to regional and international tension for two reasons. The first is the macro level, a global imbalance that cannot go unnoticed. The second is the micro level, a split within the culture that generates extremism in each particular society.

Influential strata of fringe groups are formed in all of these societies, not knowing ‘which coast to go to,’ and host nations are often vulnerable to experiencing internal cultural conflict. As practice shows, interethnic and inter-confessional conflicts are reaching the highest potential or can potentially achieve it in territories with a complex ethnic and religious structure and territories with a predominance of any one nationality attractive to labor migrants (Chumarina et al., 2020).

The massive influx of foreigners, mainly from Afro-Asian states, with a different culture, way of life, religion, way of thinking, education, exacerbated the social problems of European societies primarily, helped create a sense of jeopardization of the national and cultural identity of Europeans, and, more recently, in connection with the rise of religious extremism and terrorism also the security of states. In almost all European countries, the ideas of the synthesis and diversity of cultures today have been replaced by a desire for “tight integration” of migrants into European society based on a compromise: respecting their civil rights to the extent that they do not conflict with the national interests and cultural traditions of European states. This is currently observed in the migration policy of France.

Thus, immigrants in France are entrepreneurial and proactive; many of them open their businesses by creating additional jobs (Vickstrom, 2019). However, the relatively favorable picture of the social indicators of migrant integration gives way to a rather bleak picture when it comes to the so-called “ghettos” entire neighborhoods in cities and suburbs populated mainly by the Arab-Muslim population, where ethnocultural, religious contradictions escalate into conflict, and the native French appear segregated.

According to some scholars, ethnocentrism and xenophobia have become, for a significant part of the French, a structure-forming element in the perception of the world and life values (Aschauer & Mayerl, 2019). In many suburbs of large cities, the living conditions of French and immigrant families are similar. The neighborhood with immigrants has become a symbol of social declassification. Recently, in connection with Islamic extremism’s growth in French society, Arabophobia has gained unique momentum.

Simultaneously, against the background of other European countries, the demographic growth in France over the past 25 years is exceptional in its stability and scope. France currently provides two-thirds of the natural population growth of the EU, although its population is only 16% of the total population of the EU member states. This is three times more than the natural UK population growth, twice as many as the Benelux and Scandinavian countries (Maxwell, 2012).

At the same time, immigrant women of fertile age account for 12% of France’s female population, whereas “French from birth” constitutes 88%. Moreover, if one considers the birth rate, then for immigrant women, it is 2.6, and for French women, it is 1.8 (Maxwell, 2012). Also, it should be noted that among immigrants, there are population groups where the birth rate is much higher than average. Thus, the family of immigrants from the Maghreb countries (Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco) has, on average, 3.5 children each (Mazuy et al., 2015).

This situation allows the opponents of immigration to talk about the theory of “large substitution” of the European population by “newcomers” from African countries (Esposito, Collignon, & Scicchitano, 2020). Accordingly, this increases the level of social tension in society due to the conflict between the indigenous population with its Arabophobic sentiments and migrants who do not want to assimilate in the host society and who believe that their rights are being infringed.

In Russia, the problem of interethnic and interfaith harmony already exists (according to the Institute for Concrete Social Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 37.2% of Russians consider the contradictions between Russian and non-Russian as the main in modern Russia) and will become even more acute due to the growing uncontrolled migration from Central Asia and Caucasus region (Metelev, 2016). Immigrants’ problem has peaked; it is necessary now to pay considerable attention to this problem. Given the relatively low standard of living in Russia, it is necessary to understand that a larger percentage of the population will always have a negative attitude towards immigrants, considering that they take the money and work from them.

Threats to national security in the migration sphere are formed in the minds of a considerable mass of ordinary citizens of the country, broadcast by the mass media and public politicians, sometimes acquiring a mythological character. In turn, xenophobia and migrant-phobia increase citizens’ insecurity in their position, rights, access to livelihoods, creating a sense of fear and increasing social insecurity (Aschauer & Mayerl, 2019). A number of researchers associate the growth of ethnophobia during the period of transformation of society with a complex of social offenses that take the form of ethnically colored protest (Safronov, 2015). In particular, social and national sentiment became one of the main factors that activated the previously suppressed mixture of xenophobia and aggressive isolationism.

It is also possible to correlate ethnic and sociocultural negativism with the feeling of social insecurity of Russians. The problem of insecurity against dangers and threats is of no small importance in the formation of the vector of social processes and the general system of value orientations of society. In the struggle for survival, the perception of the surrounding reality is transformed, an active search begins for the “enemy,” the “guilty,” which helps to consolidate xenophobia as a value set in the consciousness of significant groups of the Russian population. In such a situation, migration and national policies are considered inextricably linked by the authorities and the public. A peculiar political and public consensus shaped regarding the need for a challenging national and migration policy.

The national security of a country is not only its protection from external threats it is a state of the country in which its integrity and the ability to be an independent subject of the system of international relations retain (Snow, 2016). Its main components are military, socio-economic, and information security. In connection with this, the demographic composition of national security is acquiring crucial significance today, which allows formulating a thesis statement, as well as the purpose of the study and research questions.

Problem Statement

Currently, the demographic transition to the present-capitalism in most regions of the world is completed or is almost there. However, in some countries, the “capitalist” demographic transition to low fertility and high life expectancy has already taken place, while others are just beginning to overcome the period of the second demographic revolution. Therefore, the post-industrial world and underdeveloped countries are in a state of demographic non-simultaneity, representing different historical realities.

The world population is proliferating, but the world product is growing faster and shows the ability of world society to develop productive forces. Population growth is not a problem if economic and social changes occur quickly enough if the necessary technological progress is provided. However, rapid population growth has made the structural change more complicated in recent decades, which is primarily driven by poverty. This requires a focused policy of governments and the international community to increase economic and social development, to eliminate the destabilizing gaps between industrialized and developing countries.

Technological advances and growth in labor productivity worldwide lead to a reduction in the number of jobs in national economies. Moreover, modern economic growth, despite all countermeasures, is taking place against the background of growing or steadily high unemployment, which is taking not cyclical but structural, that is, almost fatal character. Various alternatives provided by the state for the unemployed (benefits, community service, or one-time employment) are significantly inferior in terms of wages and attractiveness to lost stable jobs. Therefore, developed countries are forced to reduce the length of the working day in order to maintain available jobs and prevent unemployment.

A change in the population in one direction or another is a consequence of the whole complex of economic, demographic, political, social processes taking place in this society. Population growth in itself is not a priori benefit, but its reduction is not an a priori evil. At the same time, the efforts of the authorities to stimulate population growth, consolidate it in the “sparsely populated territories,” create a “universal” development model for all the country’s territories, artificially stimulate the birth rate taken separately from all other problems can only worsen the status quo (Philemon, 2017).

Furthermore, a severe problem generated by globalization is the extremely uneven demographic development of humanity, one of the reasons for the population’s polarization (both intercountry and in-country). Demographic globalization, transmitting the most expensive model of consumer behavior, strengthens it. Concerning the processes of demographic globalization, humanity can be stratified into groups.

As the layer of the globalist elite grows, the process of globalization intensifies the diffusion of sovereignty, state, and national interests (Dervis & Strauss, 2020). In the framework of studies on the destabilizing and integrating role of demographic globalization, there are debatable problems of the possibility of converting the demographic potential into geopolitical weight, as well as the relations between, on the one hand, various diasporas, and on the other, state structures, the population and the public of their countries of residence.

The states that are experiencing a demographic crisis, which include the EU countries and Russia, have long had a dilemma about the need for migration. On the one hand, there are dangers of social and political consequences; on the other hand, the possibility of demographic replenishment of the country’s population and economic development (Ross, 2019; Quak, 2019). Therefore, the problem of the balance of maximizing benefits and minimizing risks remains the main complicated issue of our time. In Europe, especially in Germany and France, the demographic decline of the indigenous population and the constant growth of immigrants, who are not necessarily keen on integrating into the host society, pose a severe challenge to socio-political stability (Eatock, 2019).

Stormy public debate about the insolvency and utopianism of multiculturalism policies reinforced the official statements of the political leaders of Germany, France, and the UK, with the headlines “failure of multiculturalism” (Thomas, 2016). European states’ current multicultural policy is in the contradiction between the inclusion of immigrants in their national space or their exclusion. In particular, one of the problems caused by the growth of the Muslim population in Europe is related to issues of identity and self-identification (Hackett, 2017). Moreover, this problem concerns both Europeans in general and European Muslims in particular.

The rift passes not only through society along the lines, relatively speaking, “the local European population is Muslim immigrants and their descendants.” The rift can also occur within the immigrant community, for example, between representatives of different generations, even within the same family. Another conflict area in the relationship between Muslim immigrants and their new European homeland is the problem of the relationship of Islamic law with pan-European and national laws. It is significant that in some countries, Muslim organizations advocate the application of Sharia law, in particular, in the field of inheritance, marriage, and divorce.

In other words, to fill the demographic gaps, the EU migration policy in a multicultural context is aimed at introducing a softened version of the adaptation of immigrants to their cultural context. Applying a “restrained” integration policy, the EU countries aim to preserve the national majority’s culture, increasing their numbers by adopting new minority groups that do not go beyond the framework of national culture and common civic identity (Hackett, 2017; Eatock, 2019).

At the same time, recent elections to the European Parliament suggest the development of a situation in which shortly ultra-right forces may be in the power of national states. Such a development of circumstances may lead to a change in the policy of multiculturalism to the policy of mono-culturalism, which is gaining increasingly more popularity in the radical modern Europe, where apartheid can be an acceptable form of integration of immigrants into European society.

In contrast to the developed world, the demographic transition in developing countries can transform into a socio-economic crisis associated with environmental, food, and other disasters. By virtue of its swiftness and inevitability, it inspires great concern about the dangers that await humanity. Anxiety is also supported by increasing social and economic inequality in both developing and developed countries.

In addition, the modern world is gripped by the general political crisis, and in some of its disadvantaged parts, the crisis is capable of giving rise to disastrous consequences. Political, moral, social, economic, legal, cultural, religious, and military issues are intertwined in the organic relationship in demographic politics. Therefore, it is legitimate to consider that the search for a mechanism for solving demographic problems will help overcome difficulties in the state’s socio-economic development, establish stability in society, optimize its modernization process, and ensure national security.

Purpose of Study

In the broad sense, the concept of security includes providing all citizens of the state with standard conditions for self-realization, protecting their lives, freedom, and property from any encroachment from the outside, whether it is an individual, organization, or the state itself. In the geopolitical dimension, security is understood primarily as the physical survival of a given state, the protection and preservation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, which implies the state’s ability to respond to any real and potential external threats adequately. To do this, one must have at its disposal a wide range of measures, means, and ways aimed at protecting the vital interests of the nation. In determining them, account must be taken of the universal, universally recognized components and standards of national interest and national security, including demographic.

It is known that national security can be defined by protecting vital interests, individuals, society, and the state from various kinds of threats, that is, freedom from danger (Ajayi, 2015). However, the disadvantages of this approach are the difficulty of attributing a particular phenomenon to vital interests and the uncertainty of the presence or absence of threats, their nature. In view of the turbulence and the increasing desire of national and regional security systems for entropy, it seems appropriate to study individual components of national security, among which demographic security is one of the most important.

Moreover, in this context, it is expedient to consider also migration security. Migration security in the narrow sense is the ability of migration to provide sufficient satisfaction of the needs of society in human resources (labor, intellectual) and their effective interregional redistribution. This implies, on the one hand, the protection of national interests, and on the other, the willingness and ability of government institutions to create mechanisms for regulating migration processes to protect both the interests of the host society and the safety of migrants.

Hence, in the broad sense, migration security ensures the stable functioning and reproduction of the host community, its individuals, including migrants, supported by a particular institutional environment (Cochrane, 2015). Thus, migration security acts as one of the types of security of the individual, society, and the state. The discursive nature of this phenomenon shows that migration security is associated with the social, economic, and cultural areas of life. It is provided by forecasting migration processes within a country or region and is supported by the realization of the rights of individuals and groups of both migrants and members of the host community and institutionalized state migration policies.

Predicting the effects of migration in the context of national security requires an instrumental approach in which migration processes are evaluated from the perspective of their contribution to solving the problems of replenishing labor resources, settling depressed regions, and the demographic development of society. At the same time, in current conditions, the value assessment of migration security is of particular importance in terms of, firstly, the impact of migration flows on the national security of receiving and giving countries; secondly, the security of migrants themselves and members of the host community; thirdly, the impact of migration on the social potential of migrants and their role in shaping the human capital of the recipient state; fourthly, the social mobility of the population in the process of moving between country regions and the world in general.

Consequently, the structural elements of migration security are the following: the adjustable migratory flows, their socio-economic and socio-political expediency, protecting the rights of migrants, host community security against irregular migration threats.

Moreover, ethno-egoism and ethnocentrism, as well as uncontrolled migration, enable the evident rise of nationalism and extremism, both political and religious, ethnic separatism, and create the conditions for conflicts (Chumarina et al., 2020; Luchinkina & Senchenko, 2020).

In practice, migrants are both the subject and object of security. In the first quality, an uncontrolled flow of migrants can destabilize the labor market, increase the burden on the social sphere, complicate ethnonational and confessional relations, decreases cultural standards, and become a source of increased social aggression. At the same time, migrants represent a source of increased danger for the host population when their own safety is not ensured, they are not covered by the social protection system, and their rights are not adequately protected by law. This allows concluding that the ousting of migrants to lower social strata enhances the security risks of both the host community and the migrants themselves.

In particular, to date, the most important means of enhancing geopolitical influence for many developing overpopulated countries in Southeast Asia has become the demographic expansion to the most developed countries of the world, characterized by a steady tendency for the birth rate of the indigenous population to decline (Fleischmann & Phalet, 2018). Migrants, comprising one third to one half of the population of the host countries, are organized in very close-knit ethnic-confessional communities, resistant to local culture. At the same time, they form the basis of ethnic organized crime, including religious radicals practicing radicalization.

The growing importance of the national security problem is due to the dynamics of changes taking place in the world, as well as the impact of negative trends such as a deterioration in the quality of the population due to the destruction of the traditional spiritual and social structure, increased terrorism, extremism, separatism, and crime. These trends have a destructive effect on the national economy’s primary resource, the intellectual, professional, and organizational potential of society. Meanwhile, national security is a system consisting of various elements values, interests, threats, and other factors that are themselves developing systems (system elements), and their correct differentiation contributes to the development of a strategy for ensuring national security.

Theoretical Background

Demographic changes at the global and regional levels affect the political, ethnoreligious, socio-economic situation in society. In this regard, political and managerial decisions aimed at regulating demographic processes and maintaining the political order are growing. An analysis of the problems associated with the implementation of the demographic policy in modern society, the adjustment of benchmarks, and the development of new principles for its construction and implementation actualizes the topic of studying the relationship of demographic processes and population growth in particular and national security.

Since the entire population of the country is involved in national security in the modern formulation of the question (from the standpoint of the human dimension), it is essential to study it in various social reality aspects. The urgent task remains to improve the security management process and its legislative regulation. No less critical is the need for a scientific study of the conceptual (categorical) apparatus of national security from the point of view of its sociological interpretation and the broader involvement of specialists in the field of social sciences in solving this problem.

Simultaneously, a sociological analysis of the content of ensuring national security as a form of realization of state power shows that this type (direction) of state activity so far does not have a factual theoretical basis. Despite numerous publications and the widespread use of the term “national security,” there are still no clear criteria for classifying it as a specific socio-legal category, its design is not sufficiently discovered, there is no reasoned justification for the inclusion of one or another system-forming element in it. Moreover, the characteristic features and purpose of each of the participant (subject) of this activity are not defined; the influence of external factors on its implementation is not fully reflected, including in the context of population growth and migration processes.

In his publication The Security Dynamics of Demographic Factors, Brian Nichiporuk suggested that: “demographic factors seldom directly cause conflict between nations. They can, however, exacerbate existing tensions and increase the risk of violent conflict. Long-term fertility trends, urbanization, migration, and changes in the ethnic composition and age profile of populations can influence the likelihood and nature of conflict among and within nations” (Nichiporuk, 2000).

Therefore, national security is not frozen but a constantly and rapidly developing category since any state in the modern world systematically faces new, previously unknown, or relatively insignificant challenges. Despite the importance of each aspect of national security, special attention should be paid to the fact that, in recent years, society’s demographic security has been increasingly moving to the forefront. Demographic security is a sort of platform for all, without exception, other national security aspects.

In this context, demographic security unites all other aspects of national security, which are always considered inextricably linked with the population. In addition, there is an increasing role of the demographic factor in the formation of the geopolitical situation in the current century. At the same time, demographic processes are increasingly having a negative impact on the socio-economic development of both individual countries and entire regions of the globe, definitely achieving the status of severe national threats.

Research Scope

The study will consider the level of national security, security challenges, and politics as dependent variables, and different population growth rates amongst different religious and ethnic groups in one society as an independent variable. The societies and communities for consideration will include French and Russian societies, the USA society, and societies in the Middle East region. The study will be conducted in retrospective and current planes, covering possible implications and recommendations for the future.

Although an attempt will be made to build a systemic model of national security, due to the volume constraints, only one subsystem will be considered in detail – namely, demographic one, related to social, ethical, religious, and other characteristics of population groups, as well as conflicts between them, based on the theory of conflict and social constructivism.

Research Objectives and Outline

The main task of the thesis is the scientific justification of the processes of the impact of population growth in various social and ethnic groups within society on the evolution of conditions that directly and indirectly impact the national security of those societies in modern states in different regions of the world, allowing to develop practical recommendations. The implementation of the research task involves the formulation and solution of the following tasks:

  • Conducting a comprehensive analysis of the concept of national security in the context of sustainable development of the country.
  • Identification and analysis of new problems in the field of ensuring demographic security in the context of an expanding globalization process.
  • Identification of population characteristics of conflict within communities in the context of national security.
  • Building a system model of the dependence of national security on population growth.

The thesis statement implies that imbalanced population growth amongst different groups or societies can directly impact national security.

The study aims to build a systemic model of the correlation between different population growth rates and the level of national security. In turn, the purpose determines the following research questions:

  • What is the relationship between population dynamics and sustainable development?
  • What is the mechanism of the influence of demographic composition and population growth on the level of national security?
  • What measures can be taken to stabilize and improve national security?
  • How do ethnic and social characteristics of population groups influence the threat of their negative impact on national security?
  • How systems theory can be applied to describe the correlation between differential population growth rates and the level of national security?

Literature Review

Issues of Ensuring National Security

The political component in demographic processes, and the demographic component in political affairs from a scientific point of view, was first considered by J. Graunt. One of the first who attempted to link politics, geography, and population, to study the politics of a different people or state, based on its geographical location and population dynamics, was the German geopolitician F. Ratzel (Lulu & Yungang, 2019).

Thus, national security as a social phenomenon contains many criteria and assessments that characterize various types of damage to the vital interests of the individual, society, and the state, and also contribute to the formation of ideas about threats to these interests and their consequences. In the broadest sense, national security is understood as the state of the country, which ensures the realization of the vital interests of the individual, society, and the state in such areas as economics, politics, ecology, information, science and technology, healthcare, and education (AMF, 2020; Jenkins, 2020).

Such a definition of national security implies a particular measure (level) of protection not only of national interests but also of national values and national lifestyles, without which the realization of the interests of all three security entities is unthinkable, including the territorial integrity of the state, the stability of society and the guaranteed possibility of the progressive development of the nation. At the same time, national values are understood to mean material, intellectual and spiritual property belonging to the country’s peoples, which forms the basis of their existence and development.

Moreover, national security is a sufficient criterion for determining the degree of protection of the vital interests of civil society. The social factor is organically present in all national security elements, being a determining category for the reform of its content. The social environment, its components are justifiably attributed to the strategic foundations of the state’s power with its territory, natural resources, economic, scientific, technical, and defense potential (AMF, 2020; Jenkins, 2020).

Hence the relevance of the institutionalization of security in the system of social relations and social interactions, dictated by a set of objective prerequisites arising from the vital needs of society, the growing vulnerability of people in terms of their survival and development, the growing conflict of social groups, the presence of a wide range of dangers that humanity must confront, and determined by the political and legal content of this type of social activity, which is an indispensable part of modern social reality.

Demographic Processes and Migration in Light of National Security

Mention of ‘population growth’ in the minds of many associates with a lack of resources. One can recall the scientist of the 19th century, Thomas Malthus, who believed that due to population growth, humanity would not be able to feed itself, or Paul Ehrlich, whose 1968 book The Population Bomb warned of a catastrophe as a result of overpopulation of the planet (Andrews, 2019). Ideas about depleting people of world resources are an integral part of popular culture, and in some regions of the world, rapid population growth is one of the leading causes for concern, as it creates acute problems in the areas of land use, labor markets, and state budgets. However, such an idea of population growth reflects only part of the overall picture. Different forces — aging, migration, urbanization, and increased life expectancy — form a more diverse and complex global demographic landscape.

For most of humanity’s history, the change in the population of certain regions of the world was determined mainly by natural population growth. The apparent growth of the role of international migration in the context of studying the demographic dynamics of the world has been catalyzed not only by the changes in mortality and fertility patterns that have led to a gap between the demographic pictures of developed and developing countries but also by the triggered processes of world economic globalization.

If in a traditional and industrial society, the main factor regulating the population was external, natural, then it becomes political in a post-industrial society. Namely, political trends, conditions and factors, political forces, and the degree of their activity are the primary regulator of the development of demographic processes. Globalization changes and the resulting imbalances in the population’s natural movement, uncontrolled migration destabilize regional, national, and global political spaces and pose a threat to both national and global security.

The issues of ensuring national security, developing its concepts and strategies, including in the field of population, in all countries are the subject of close attention from politicians, the military, and civil society. In modern political science, a new direction is forming, political demography (Robbins & Smith, 2017). At the beginning of the 21st century, the issue related to international migration processes became one of the most politicized, controversial, and global conflicts.

The contradictory nature of this issue is since, on the one hand, international migration is an inevitable consequence of strengthening transnational contacts, and, on the other hand, migration is a severe destabilizing factor that radically changes the socio-cultural, economic, and political landscape of most states and regions of the globe. Simultaneously, the problem of finding a balance between open and restrictive migration regimes is complicated by the lack of simple adequate political and power tools by government authorities to influence migration flows (Estevens, 2018).

The failure of numerous attempts to prevent illegal migration, control the number and quality of migrants to regions and countries, and reduce public discontent with the current migration policy indicates the inability of states to form migration flows following their interests. Moreover, migration gives rise to a set of problems identified in the regime of international, regional, and national security.

Today, using the example of Europe, various researchers are speaking about how global migration and demographic processes and related problems affecting the political situation influence the course of political processes, speed them up, slow them down, and change them. The influence of the demographic factor on the preservation of the state and national security is manifested in three directions (Van Mol & de Valk, 2016; Fratczak, 2016):

  • Strengthening the geopolitical status of the state;
  • Preservation of the territorial integrity of the country;
  • Ensuring national security.

Europe, which has managed to cope with refugee flows for decades with varying degrees of success, is today faced with an unprecedented migration crisis. According to the UN Office for Refugees, the number of internally displaced persons worldwide for the first time after World War II exceeded 60 million (Reid, 2020). Over the past 50 years, the intensity of migration has increased by more than 2.5 times.

The main share of migrants at the beginning of this century consisted of people between the ages of 20 and 64 (UN, 2019). According to Eurostat experts, in 2010, the total population of the European Union amounted to 503.1 million people, while the share of migrants reached 6.4% of the population of the EU countries (31.9 million people, more than 40% of which are people aged 20 to 35 years) (Thomas, 2013). Namely, the growth in the number of migrants has become the main factor determining the growth of tension in the relationship between newcomers and the old-timers. The flows of migrants significantly change the ethnic background and exacerbate ethnocultural contradictions that form protracted conflicts.

The negative consequences of illegal migration are usually typical of all countries that are faced with this phenomenon. The historical process indicates that the presence of migrants often provokes aggravation of ethnic conflicts in society, actively promotes the growth of nationalist movements, and carries with it the spread of “exotic” infectious diseases. Illegal migrants, without any labor or social guarantees, actively use mechanisms of ethnic solidarity in order to survive. Often this leads to the formation of closed ethnic formations (enclaves), which begin to operate actively in the community with organized criminal groups and nationalist extremist associations. As a result, hostile attitudes towards migrants grow in society, and ultra-right parties are emerging and becoming more active.

In the modern world, migration problems are increasingly viewed as threats to the national security of the state, as they become global and have severe consequences for host countries. Over the past two decades, two significant regulators of migration behavior have acquired new quality: the environment and social norms that determine the main reason for migration, namely, the contradiction between the level of development of an individual, his needs, and the condition for their satisfaction (Paz, 2020). To resolve this contradiction in an ever-increasing measure is possible only by ‘stepping’ over state borders.

The problem of the impact of migration processes on the social, economic, and political life of the country is ambiguous: depending on the goals of movements and reasons, migration can have both positive and negative consequences for the host country.

On the one hand, migration with an unfavorable demographic situation in the country can compensate for the shortage of labor resources, thereby ensuring economic growth and replenishing the composition of the able-bodied part of the population in the context of its continuing aging. On the other hand, in the modern world, population migration has become spontaneous, and the problems associated with migration flows are the focus of attention of the leaders of many countries and the entire world community as a whole. It should be borne in mind that illegal migration can be a direct threat to a country’s security, its geopolitical interests, and international authority in the political sphere.

In the literature, “migration” is increasingly considered to integrate the problems of migration nature and national security of the country. This is due, first of all, to the fact that each country is interested in ensuring national security, satisfying and observing its national interests, while uncontrolled migration flows can lead to significant changes in the socio-economic life of the country and a change in the habitual way of life of the indigenous population.

Specific demographic threats associated with the problem of uncontrolled migration are becoming an important social issue for discussion. First of all, this is due to the variety of consequences generated by such policies, the resolution of which seems inadmissible without a deep understanding of the cause-and-effect relationships of these demographic phenomena. In other words, a comprehensive analysis that takes into account natural and migratory population movements in the context of demographic security are necessary to study this problem (Fratczak, 2016). Otherwise, there is a risk that latent migration processes will continue to pose a severe threat to national and cultural security, damaging the interests of a sovereign state.

Judging by opinion polls conducted in the EU, people do not understand how many immigrants are actually in the country. So, in Greece, almost 60% of the population believes that most immigrants stay illegally in the country. In Hungary, Lithuania, Bulgaria, and Romania, up to 70% of the population does not contact immigrants at all. Four out of ten respondents say that migration has caused severe problems (Triantafillou, 2016). The population is also divided in half concerning the issue of government activities on the migration issue. At the same time, it is precisely this problem that the authorities of many EU countries perceive as very serious.

A recent striking example of the confrontation in society and the conflict between a part of society and the government, an example of mass protest against the current migration policy of Merkel was the events in the German city of Chemnitz. At the same time, German society still recalled New Year’s Eve in Cologne in 2016. In addition, the murders of German citizens by migrants traditionally cause a storm of emotions in society, mostly since there was even a 14-year-old girl among the dead. The protests are so significant that the matter even came to direct accusations against the German media, from different sides.

Thus, it can be stated that there is not only an agreement between the EU member states on the issue of migration policy, but it does no longer exist in the societies themselves, in the political environment. This situation cannot be resolved quickly and only with the help of the law and the police. No less important is the fact that the migration problem made a distinction between countries on the issue of refugee reception to talk about the connection between the idea of combating migration and Euro-skepticism, which divides the EU states into different camps (Triantafillou, 2016).

In the meantime, when countries and societies cannot agree on refugee admission standards and strict implementation of agreements, only far-right parties win. Their growth has already been noted during election campaigns in different countries of Europe in 2017 and 2018, which over time will lead to the ideological reorientation of different parties and the transformation of the party-political system of the EU countries (Majcher et al., 2020). In addition, surprising shifts have taken place in the EU regarding human rights, that is the EU comes to understand that there are threats, the solution of which is more important than the possible accusation of particular services in violation of human rights. It is also significant here that the proposed solutions are only transitional and do not meet with unconditional support in society and the political environment. Thus, the decisions taken do not lead to an agreement but, on the contrary, raise new questions, disputes, and tension.

Classifications of demographic threats to national security

Given the content of all possible types of demographic threats, it is advisable to use three main signs of classification in the process of statistical research. This includes

  1. depending on the origin: internal, external, and cross-border;
  2. depending on the manifestation: actual (current) and potential (prospective);
  3. depending on the consequences: minor, severe, and extreme (critical).

Threats to national security associated with the development of demographic phenomena and processes within the country are considered internal. If the same components are fraught with dangers but emanating from other states (independently adjacent or distant), it talks about external demographic threats. In addition, there are processes related to the population that are cross-border in nature, that is, they occur at the global level and do not have a clear link to specific countries.

Actual ones are those demographic threats that the state has already encountered, while potential threats are usually delayed in time. If the consequences of the transformation of demographic phenomena and processes have little impact on the country’s development, they are considered insignificant. Serious demographic threats are characterized by a significant impact on the public situation, and extreme ones begin where there is a danger of undermining the state’s foundations.

It must be noted that demographic threats to national security, as an independent object of applied statistical analysis, have at least three notable features. Firstly, they are not absolute because they are always considered from the standpoint of the security of a particular state. Therefore, the statistical characteristics of the same demographic result will have different, and sometimes opposite explanations. Secondly, some demographic processes have a wave or cyclical nature (fluctuations in the intensity of childbearing for individual generations of women). As a result, from the standpoint of statistical practice, it is quite realistic to encounter such a state of affairs when threats to national security-related to population development can periodically increase or decrease themselves without any participation from the state.

Finally, the composition of demographic threats contains many components that take the form of dangers for the state not immediately, but only after a specific and sometimes quite a long time. For this reason, the current statistical assessment of the presence or actual degree of threat is often veiled in nature since the latter falls into the field of view of government, not at the time of its occurrence, but as it negatively affects and influences the development of society.

In aggregate, all of the above features indicate that the demographic threats to national security objectively act as a complex, non-standard, and highly contradictory object of applied analysis, which can change its outlines depending on both the existing and continually changing geopolitical configurations, economic, social and other factors. In particular, in another classification, four main types of threats that illegal migration poses to national (regional) security, the following should be identified: political, economic, criminal, and social (Maxwell, 2012). In the political sphere, it is a direct threat to the country’s security, its geopolitical interests, and international authority.

Uncontrolled migration influences European countries’ political stability, as the social and political activity of migrants and ethnic separatism significantly limit the functionality of social, legal, and political institutions. The politicization of migration processes is expressed in the desire of immigrants to advance and defend their own socio-economic, political, and cultural interests through the creation of political movements, including radical ones.

Among the demands put forward by them, there is the provision of equal rights with the indigenous population, rights to distinctive ethnocultural development; participation in local elections; and simplification of the procedure for obtaining citizenship. As a target factor, it leads to facilitation of the naturalization process in European countries; granting the right to vote in local elections; formation of advisory bodies designed to support migrants; an increase in the number of religious institutions with the prospect of an Islamic continent (Fleischmann & Phalet, 2018).

The formation of migrant communities and the separate development of ethnic minorities lead to an increase in xenophobia and nationalism among the indigenous populations of European states and to increased activity of ultra-right parties and organizations calling for the protection of national identity, which, in turn, creates new threats and challenges to national security. Moreover, there is a real threat of self-promotion and institutionalization of extremist and marginal elements among the local population in a conflict-prone environment, followed by incorporation into the political system, which creates the conditions for the advancement of ultranationalist forces in the country.

In the social sphere, illegal migration leads to increased social tension, which significantly complicates the criminal situation in the region. In conditions of intensive migration, the ethnic composition of many countries and large cities are radically changing. Officially, 18.4 million immigrants live in the EU countries or only about 5% of the population. However, considering illegal migrants and naturalized foreigners, their number, according to Western analysts, ranges from 25 to 29 million. In London, the share of the white population by the middle of the century will decrease (in%) from 72 to 45, Africans from 11 to 9, and the proportion of South Asians will increase from 10 to 26, Chinese from 3 to 6, mestizos from 4 to 14 (Snow, 2016). Obtaining refugee status provides an opportunity for a family reunion, which leads to further growth of migrants in Western Europe.

It should be noted that at present, only in the United Kingdom, seven radical Islamist organizations operate openly, numbering, according to various estimates, from 130 to 180 thousand people. According to Sciubba (2010), approximately 2/3 of Islamic sites containing calls for religious intolerance are supported by the United Kingdom. As the practice of many countries, in particular, Russia, shows, illegal migration should be considered as a factor contributing to the development of religious extremism, the strengthening of nationalism, the growth of crime, the illicit trafficking of psychotropic and narcotic substances. In addition, members of terrorist organizations can enter the country with illegal immigrants, which contributes to the growing threat of terrorist acts in the territory of the recipient country.

In addition, in the modern world, in the context of an increase in the number of various security threats, as a state, the mutual influence of demographic changes and socio-economic stability in the country is manifested very significantly. When it comes to the viability and prospects of the state’s development, the most commonly understood term is “the country’s economic security.” There are many interpretations of this concept, and one of them considers it as the state of the economic system that allows it to develop dynamically and efficiently, solve social problems, and in which the state has the ability to develop and implement an independent economic policy (Kremer-Matyskevic & Cernius, 2019).

The implementation of the priorities of the country’s modernization development and its regions is possible in the conditions of ensuring, first of all, the economic and demographic security of the country, considering the continually growing share of the shadow economy, as well as globalization processes. On the other hand, economic security can be considered as such a state of the economy, in which the authorities provide adequate protection of state interests, the social orientation of the policy, sufficient defense potential even in adverse conditions for the development of internal and external processes.

At the same time, it is characteristic that the solution of social problems, the social orientation of politics are essential components of economic security, in which experts agree. Hence the conclusion suggests itself that ensuring economic security presupposes not only the stable activity of institutions, but also the purpose for which they were created and operate a decent stable existence for all segments of the population, which also affects demographic processes fertility, mortality, and migration. Since the state’s economic security and demographic stability are interdependent, it is advisable to consider these concepts in interconnection. Thus, economic security should also include demographic security, which is to maintain the country’s sustainable demographic development and its regions.

In order to reveal the interdependence of economic and demographic security, it is needed to recall the components of a more general concept they are. When characterizing the security of the state, the category of “national security” is used, which is interpreted in the scientific literature as the state of the system of public relations between the subjects of the social system, individuals, state institutions both within the framework of national education and in the field of international activity, ensuring the possibility of full implementation and security of life vital interests from external and internal threats through achieving a balance of interests of each of the participants due to optimal relationship with the interests of other entities (AMF, 2020; Jenkins, 2020).

Thus, national security is a category of political science that characterizes the state of social institutions, ensuring their effective activity in maintaining optimal conditions for the individual and society’s existence and development.

National security includes economic, demographic, military, political, social, information security. The structure of national security can be schematically represented as follows: in the form of a multifaceted figure, the whole form and internal space of which constitutes national security, and the figure’s sides are its components, and the demographic, military, and economic support processes. Social, domestic political, and information security form the state’s internal stability, fasten it like a crystal lattice, ensuring the stability of elementary particles of matter. It needs to pay attention nevertheless to demographic security and its role in ensuring national security.

Demographic security is one of the types of security of the country and its regions. Along with it, there is economic, military, social security, and others. Demographic security, interacting with other socio-economic reality areas, cannot be considered only as a sphere of auxiliary interests of the state, which are of only practical importance for solving geopolitical tasks. Demographic security can be represented as such a state of demographic processes, which is sufficient for the reproduction of the population without significant external factors and human resources of the state’s geopolitical interests (Sidorenko, 2019).

In other words, demographic security is the functioning and development of the population as such in its age-gender and ethnic parameters, its correlation with the state’s national interests, consisting in ensuring its integrity, independence, sovereignty and maintaining the current geopolitical status. It must be borne in mind that the goals of demographic security, while being a priority for society, nevertheless coexist with other equally significant goals of social, economic, and political security, but fulfilling a system-forming function around which national security priorities should be built around.

In addition, demographic security has an independent meaning, as it is associated with one of the most fundamental, intimate aspects of human life, the continuation of the species and, consequently, of life. Only in the case of ensuring health, longevity, reproductive activity of the population can one counts on the successful solution of the socio-historical problems facing it.

The following factors affect the state’s demographic security: historical features; geographical and economic position; resource base; internal and external communications; education, healthcare; state and processes taking place in other states. The level of demographic security reflects the state of stability of society and the stability in the face of various adverse factors that impede its development. One should evaluate the reduction in the country’s population in the framework of this logic: it is dangerous because it indicates a severe defect in the organizational-state mechanism for ensuring the vital functions of the population, resulting from which a threat to the country’s status arises.

The reproduction process, on which the dynamics of the number and gender and age structure of the population depends, with the development of the economy, society should become more effective when the state creates conditions by improving social institutions and sectors of the social sphere (health care, social protection, education), ensuring the resumption of subsequent generations. In society, the resources of forces, time, energy are released, which in traditional society were spent on the demographic reproduction necessary for survival. With the development of technology, healthcare, and the improvement of living standards, it becomes possible to use resources for an innovative breakthrough in the economy, which, in turn, is necessary to increase economic security. This is the fundamental relationship between demographic and economic security.

Thus, demographic security is a category that characterizes the demographic system, and its inherent reproduction regime, gender, and age, the ethnic structure of the population, as well as the state of social institutions provide the socio-cultural aspect of demographic reproduction, which in combination has an impact on the national security of the state. One of the conditions for ensuring national security is the development of common approaches to regulating the basic demographic processes and coordinated actions for their implementation, since demographic processes, on the one hand, can lead directly or indirectly to political, economic, spiritual expansion into the territory of the state, and on the other, stimulate active political activity aimed at expanding the sphere of influence beyond own borders.

In the world demographically, two mains directly opposite trends are identified: in developed countries, fertility is declining, and in developing countries, it is increasing. On a global scale, this has already led to a disproportionate distribution of the world’s population and has caused severe migration movements. This jeopardizes the national security of a number of states.

However, the most severe contradictions arise in the context of a clash of civilizations, cultural diversity, and ethnic or racial differences. For example, an essential element of the American ethnic model has become the administrative-legal mechanism of regulation in the field of racial-ethnic relations, which was born literally in the fire of social battles, under the pressure of mass movements and demands. Thus, the 14th amendment to the Constitution was widely used to protect the rights of minorities, and the most important result of this amendment was the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Back, 2020).

Representatives of racial and ethnic groups won their civil rights and anti-discrimination guarantees in a mass organized struggle. The depth of the socio-political crisis caused by this struggle has contributed to widespread public awareness of the need to create an effective state-legal mechanism for ensuring the rights of representatives of racial-ethnic groups, whose main goal was to prevent further explosive exacerbation of interracial and interethnic problems and conflicts. A separate part of US law includes a policy regarding the Indian population, which has taken on rather complex and ambiguous forms at various stages of history.

However, despite this, acute racial problems exist in the USA in the form of latent racism. A difficult situation has developed as a result of the migration crisis in Europe and Russia. However, there are only a few systematic studies of the causes, consequences, and prospects of these crises and their impact on the states’ national security, which is critical for such a relevant area.


Research Philosophy

This methodology corresponds to constructivism in science. Constructivism is one of the currents of modern philosophy of science that arose in the late 70s – early 80s of the 20th century. In essence, these are epistemological approaches in which cognition is perceived as an active construction by the subject of the world’s interpretation (model) and not as a simple reflection. Thus, based on other authors’ studies, one will attempt to build our model of the correlation between population growth and national security.

Modern constructivism as a cognitive practice is actualized due to a naturalistic turn in epistemology and has roots in specific scientific knowledge forms. Classical constructivism, as noted above, is associated with the problem of substantiating knowledge. An important feature of classical constructivism V.A. Lecturer connects with the fact that cognition as a construction always implied the presence of a specific “given” preceding cognition (Tan, 2017). Thus, Kant’s transcendental subject’s constructive activity presupposes the presence of sensations as material for activity, in German classical philosophy, the world was understood as a product of the activity of an absolute subject, and “this” was identified with “done.”

In its various forms, modern constructivism differs from the classical one in that it denies the existence of a phenomenally given consciousness, which was facilitated by the criticism by the American philosopher W. Sellars of the “myth of the given.” According to Sellars, what is taken as “given” does not precede cognition but is constructed in linguistic activity (Tan, 2017). Forming in the context of the exhaustion of scientific fundamentalism, modern constructivism is represented by various variants of epistemological constructivism. The focus of his attention is not the problem of substantiating knowledge but the process of obtaining knowledge. The emphasis on constructive activity in the understanding of human and society gained a steady position in philosophy and science in the 20th century.

Especially vividly and organically, this mentality manifested itself in synergetic studies, which consolidated a person’s idea as an active, creative subject, whose constructive activity transforms the world. Constructivism was developed in various fields of scientific knowledge and scientific disciplines: in particular in systems theory and cybernetics (Heinz von Ferster), genetic epistemology, or child developmental psychology (Jean Piaget), perceptual psychology (Ulrich Neisser), neurobiology and cognitive science (Umbert Maturan, Francisco Varela), social philosophy (Edgar Moren), psychology (G. Bateson), and in the theory of communication and psychotherapy (P. Watslavik).

According to constructivism, the world, in the form in which one perceives it, is not a reflection of feelings but appears as an invention, a construction facilitated by our cognitive apparatus that has developed inhumanity in the process of biological evolution. An activity is considered as cognition, and cognition can be considered as a particular activity (Tan, 2017). Constructivist theories suggest that a person is not a passive collector of information, they act as an active figure, a subject, constructing reality.

The subject of the relationship between population growth and national security is being studied under conditions of an extraordinarily dynamic and multifactorial environment, therefore the process of obtaining knowledge, in this case, is just an ongoing construction and not an investigation of stationary and stable phenomena or processes. Such conditions determined the choice of research philosophy.

Research Approach

During the study, elements of a systematic approach are used. One shares the opinion that the study of the composition of a specific system should not consist only of the detection of the components contained in it. This could be done in the simplest analytical way (Tan, 2017). Since the system approach proceeds from the concept of a system as integrity that cannot be reduced to its parts, its study, firstly, cannot be limited to describing other parts, and secondly, isolating the components (or subsystems) that make up this integrity, should represent them as necessary and sufficient for the very existence of this system. Only under this condition can one distinguish organically inherent components from randomly introduced from the outside.

Research Method

As a study method, it have been chosen a literature review, analysis, and synthesis, and, to some extent, the system approach. The systematic approach is inextricably linked with the fundamental ideas of the dialectic and dialectical approach; however, it has its own essence and acts as a different methodological approach. The main idea in the systematic approach is that the study of the object should be carried out for an integrated set of its subsystems, elements with identifying diverse relationships and properties between them and the environment.

An analysis of research experience shows that applying any one approach in its classical form for the purposes of systemic research is practically impossible and cannot produce a significant effect. This objectively implies the need for an integrative balanced use of various methodological approaches concerning each specific study. This approach should rightly be interpreted as systemic, that is, in this case, it should be understood as integrative-convergent, including other approaches. Therefore, the integrative-convergent approach to research is a methodology of the research process that uses a system, target, process, parametric, functional, situational, behavioral, reflective, and other approaches.

This means that when using a systematic approach in the research process, all other methodological approaches, if necessary, can be included in the process depending on the goals, type, and object of study. A dialectic-based system approach is a systematic research methodology. It focuses on obtaining universal knowledge about system objects, their qualitative certainty, laws of existence, interaction mechanisms that form the integrity of components, the nature, and the content of their relationships and relationships. Its distinctive feature is that in the study of specific processes and phenomena, it absorbs all levels, combines the apparatus of philosophy and particular scientific disciplines. Only in this way, the integrity of the cognition of objects is methodologically ensured.

Data Collection Method

As a research method, selected content analysis of the literature. Content analysis is a method of qualitatively-quantitative study of documents. It involves the search, registration, and processing of individual semantic units. Recorded in the documents and further interpreted the data obtained (description of the patterns discovered and establishing the relationship between the identified trends).

Content analysis should not replace conventional document analysis. It complements it, and their combination deepens the understanding of the meaning of the text. Content analysis allows to make findings in a document that escapes the surface gaze in a formal study but has a significant social meaning. The content analysis differs from all other methods of studying documents in that it allows “entering” the content of the document in a social context, to interpret it both as a manifestation and as an assessment of social life.

Research Instruments

To cope with the task set’s solution, it is necessary to develop the correct method of analysis and generalization of experimental data, which allows infiltrating the essence of the studied phenomena gradually. This method can be a scientific induction: among the types of inductive generalizations, there is a distinguishing of such kinds of induction as popular, incomplete, complete, scientific, and mathematical. As a rule, they deal with incomplete induction in scientific research, when the conclusion is made based on the part of the facts related to the studied area. This is because the number of facts can be uncountable. Furthermore, if the experience is endless and incomplete, then inductive conclusions are probabilistic.

In logic, the term “induction” is used as a synonym for the more precise but more cumbersome term “inductive reasoning” and is understood in a narrower sense: as an inference in which the general conclusion is based particular premises. In this case, the parcels can confirm or imply the truth but do not guarantee its receipt. This induction is fundamentally different from a deduction, through which accurate conclusions are always obtained from true premises, subject to the rules of inference.

Reliability and Validity

Reliability and validity studies are related to the nature of the sources used (monographs, articles in specialized journals, reports of well-known consulting companies), and the applied induction method. Studying the facts and analyzing them, the researcher establishes the general and repeating features of many phenomena included in a particular class. On this basis, he builds an inductive inference, the premises of which are judgments about individual objects and phenomena with an indication of their recurring feature and a judgment about a class that includes these objects and phenomena. In conclusion, a judgment is obtained in which the attribute identified in the totality of individual objects is attributed to the whole class.

The value of inductive conclusions lies in the fact that they provide a transition from individual facts to general propositions, make it possible to detect relationships between phenomena, build empirically substantiated hypotheses, and come to generalizations.

Data Analysis Method and Ethical Consideration

In general, the content analysis method is considered by researchers, primarily as a quantitative research method. Nevertheless, the concept of “quality content analysis” appears in the literature. The difference between qualitative and quantitative analyses is the research approach: quantitative measures consider the frequency of individual themes, words, or signs, whereas qualitative analysis considers only the presence or absence of characteristics. It must be noted that content analysis is a very multifaceted procedure, as it requires, as well as intuition and imagination many times for understanding what is qualitatively essential and choosing the right categories. This method’s value depends on the quality of conceptualization carried out by the researcher before the start of the analysis and the accuracy with which concepts are translated into variables.

In contrast to quantitative analysis, qualitative content analysis is focused on an idiographic approach in science and is based on an inductive method of obtaining knowledge, emphasizing the unity of the phenomena studied in their ambiguity and complexity. The main difference between qualitative content analysis and quantitative analysis is that quantitative analysis is focused on explaining the content, on the general principles of material analysis, on finding universal through analysis, decomposing text into its parts, and analyzing these variables. The qualitative content analysis aims to understand the phenomena studied and analyze interconnections and processes between these phenomena. It focuses on the coverage of the totality and complexity of the phenomena studied and aims to study isolated cases, grounded hypotheses, and generalizations.

Although human subjects are not involved in the research, still ethical considerations should be mentioned. Ethical standards can be reduced to the following main categories:

  1. honesty and carefulness in conducting surveys;
  2. recognition of the intellectual contribution of other scientists;
  3. public relations;
  4. moral values, affirmed or refuted by scientific research.

At the present stage of the development of scientific knowledge, the classical principles put forward by Merton are relevant and supplemented by the requirement of professional ethics by scientists and scientific communities. At the same time, professional ethics represent specific and applied ethics.

Findings and Discussions

Implications in France

In connection with the influx of refugees into Europe, the issue of immigration is becoming increasingly acute in France and throughout Europe. If earlier, when trying to resolve immigration problems, the country’s economic needs were ‘assigned’ a priority position, now the country’s leadership should also take into account concerns of national security, as the core negative consequence of the migration policy carried out until recently is precisely increasing threat to the citizens’ security. The country’s leaders’ main challenge is to ensure the safety and social cohesion of their citizens while observing human rights and respecting republican values. Solving the problem in the existing legal field is becoming increasingly difficult.

In the field of immigration, active policies were pursued to the extent possible. However, the result was deplorable. The conclusion can be made that those restrictions in Western democracies, including France, do not allow decisively to cope with the challenge of immigration, restore proper order in their own homes, and ensure security for the population. The country gradually realizes that implementing measures in frames of the current policy concept makes it impossible to cope with the migration crisis. Like other European countries, France’s leadership faces a crucial choice since a tangible change in immigration policy risks undermining the republican values.

Simultaneously, adherence to the previous course calls into question the possibility of ensuring citizens’ safety and preserving national identity and the very model of a social republican state. Recent activities by President of France Emmanuel Macron show that the striving to ensure the security of their citizens is now seen as a top priority in migration policy (Piser, 2019). Thus, the EU countries and, in particular, France faces a dilemma between the need to ensure national security and the need to provide respect for human rights.

France has been familiar with the problem of migration for several centuries, but this process acquired a massive scale after the Second World War. Today, about 6-7 million legal migrants are on its territory, which represents a severe demographic burden with a total population of about 67 million people (Chin, 2017). Recently, the problem of immigration in France has become particularly acute. In connection with the Schengen agreement, the possibilities of control over immigrants in a single European space have become significantly weakened; in addition, most immigrants, mainly from African and Asian countries, could not integrate into the host society.

The rejection of integration led to the formation of the ghetto, the emergence of the so-called dysfunctional neighborhoods, where crime and unemployment are very high. Thus, the main issue that the French government began to worry about was the integration of foreigners from non-Christian and non-European countries. In general, France population dynamics is given in Fig. 1.

France population dynamics, 2010-2020.
Figure 1. France population dynamics, 2010-2020.

Philosopher Andre Comte-Sponville believes that people have the right to protect their identity, their security, and their comfort from what they consider rightly or wrongly a threat from the outside (Castets, 2018). From his point of view, it would be naive to pursue a policy based on moral standards only because “if all people were virtuous (…), then there would be no need for either (state) borders, a police force, or even the states themselves” (Yoshihara & Sylva, 2011, pp. 60-61). The approaches to solving this complex problem, as can be seen, are diametrically opposite, and the government, when conducting an immigration policy, is forced to consider the mood existing in society.

At the moment, the main problem is the difficultly controlled influx of migrants. Although it is possible to receive and host the refugees that Europe offers France, the country, considering its economic opportunities, is capable of. However, the problems that arise with the flow of immigrants are not economic in nature. They threaten the social well-being and social cohesion of French society, but most importantly, the safety of citizens.

It is about the ever-increasing dissatisfaction of the indigenous inhabitants of Europe with immigrants arriving and already living there, who sometimes cannot, and often do not want to make an effort to live “in someone else’s monastery” not according to their charter, but to follow the rules and traditions, rooted in host countries. Irritation fuels the feeling of injustice amongst the native French. The number of people receiving benefits designed to help integrate the poor into French society has steadily increased by about 6% per year since the beginning of the 21st century (Yoshihara & Sylva, 2011, pp. 34-35). Simultaneously, immigrants of the first or second generation made up more than 80% of this category of people.

It is sometimes more profitable for immigrants to live on this allowance without working. By providing the necessary information, they can reduce rents, medical benefits, exemption from taxes, and contributions to social funds. They are also entitled to free food vouchers. In general, in such cases, their real incomes often become higher than the minimum wage of a French.

It should be recalled that everyone, even illegal immigrants in France, has the right to receive medical care and educate their children in high school. This humanistic approach is consistent with the republican traditions of the country, but is also explained by practical tasks: unwillingness to create additional problems in the healthcare sector, the desire to bring all children living in the country to republican values and help them get involved in the life of the country through education at school.

However, the implementation of such programs also requires significant budgetary funds. Hence, in 2015, 600 million euros were spent in the framework of the program for providing medical assistance to illegal immigrants, Aide Médicale d’Etat (AME) (Fleischmann & Phalet, 2018). Such policies do not always find understanding among indigenous low-income Frenchmen.

However, most importantly, an ever-increasing concern is caused by a continually decreasing security level, primarily because of the threat of terrorist attacks, not so much by extremists in the Middle East as by those who live in these very European countries and enjoy these very social benefits. So, journalists and political scientists believe that it makes no sense to declare war on the Islamic State organization, which, hiding from bombing, will move to another region or transform into another terrorist movement. From the point of view of experts, it is necessary “to wage another war, long, difficult, but that war, which can lead to victory and can guarantee security.

It is about destroying jihadist groups that are simultaneously French citizens” (Maxwell, 2012, p. 34). It is worth noting that in mosques in France, sermons are read in Arabic. Most of France’s 2,500 imams do not speak French or do not speak well enough to preach in this language (Chin, 2017). Often it comes to the fact that in some of the unofficial and radical-run-mosques, they can call for jihad against the “corrupted” West.

It should be emphasized that opinion polls conducted in 2016-2017 showed that most Frenchmen do not feel safe (60%) and doubt that the state will protect them from terrorism (52%), which has become the primary source of public concern (25 %), ahead of unemployment (22%) (Modebadze, 2019, pp. 86-95). Even more (69%) of the French said they did not believe in the authorities’ ability to protect them from street crime, robbery, and aggression in the streets (Modebadze, 2019, pp. 86-90). Citizens welcomed the establishment of the “quarterly” police force (that is, district services, primarily in urban areas inhabited by descendants of migrants 93%), the strengthening of the work of particular services (88%), and security cooperation with other EU countries (92%).

In addition to the attacks, the security issue is associated with the fact that most offenses are committed by representatives of the first, and even more often, the second generation of immigrants. In places of compact residence of immigrants who received social housing, “dysfunctional” zones were formed where republican values were almost forgotten and reigned their own laws. More severe problems are accumulating in disadvantaged areas: environmental conditions are deteriorating, unemployment is above average, accidents often occur in families, according to a report by the Ministry of Employment, Labor and Social Cohesion (Chin, 2017).

Simultaneously, since it is forbidden to conduct polls in France about the ethnic origin and religious affiliation of citizens, there is no accurate information about the crime rate among immigrants. However, the magazine Express published the data of its investigation, announcing that 73% of the names of those who were involved in cases in the Paris police commissariats had a non-European sound (Chin, 2017). Indirectly, these data confirm that in France, the number of crimes committed by immigrants is much more significant than their percentage of the population.

Many steps have been taken, but these problems not only remain but are exacerbated. It seems that the authorities do not manage the situation. They are forced to do what is imposed on them by the course of events, and not what is their conscious choice. This feeling is shared by many. Meanwhile, in carrying out their immigration policy, the country’s authorities cannot but take into account the existing norms of international, European, and national law, which set a sufficiently tight framework to combat the negative consequences of immigration. It is also impossible to act without considering the country’s public opinion, the reaction of the opposition, and human rights organizations.

Restrictions of a supranational nature are primarily associated with France’s EU membership and since the late 1990s. The European Union exerted an increasing influence on the formation of the immigration policy of the member countries. However, restrictions that seriously impede the implementation of the necessary, from the authorities’ point of view, immigration policy exists within the country. The government operates in a specific legal field, and political decisions are made, as in all democratic countries, taking into account existing legal norms and traditions.

In France, the task of monitoring the compliance of decisions made with legal norms is entrusted to the bodies of constitutional review: the Constitutional Council, designed to examine the constitutionality of acts submitted by Parliament, and the State Council, which controls acts of the government. Administrative courts monitor the work of prefects representing local authorities. So, European legislation and the national constitutional review body significantly influence the formation of immigration policy in France. In the last decades of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, this influence has become increasingly noticeable.

For example, the Constitutional Council opposed the laws providing for the extension of the period of permissible detention of illegal immigrant immigrants (particularly in 1993, when it came to the adoption of the Pasqua law) (Chin, 2017). For a long time, this period was 12 days; during this period, the authorities did not have time to consider the detainees’ cases carefully, and they had to be released. In 2003, the maximum period of detention was increased to 32 days, however, the Constitutional Council stipulated that there could be no detention question for a longer time (Thomas, 2013). It should be noted that in some European countries this issue is being addressed differently. In Germany, for example, the detention of foreigners illegally staying in the country for a year and a half is allowed, and in the UK, there are no restrictions at all for this period.

Both representatives of various parties and independent analysts of the country always tried to identify ways out of this situation. Almost all of these proposals boil down to one appeal: to pursue a more stringent policy towards immigrants. However, implementing such proposals is difficult because they are contrary to established norms, both legal and moral. More specifically, it is about the following:

  1. To limit the influx of migrants, accepting only those who are needed from the point of view of economic feasibility, getting rid of bulk, socially unreliable people living at the expense of social handouts. However, “France ratified the Geneva Convention of July 28, 1951, according to which every person persecuted in his country for political, religious convictions or for belonging to a particular social group has the right to asylum and can apply for refugee status” (Thomas, 2013, p. 158). However, according to the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights, there is the right for everyone to respect their private and family life, and namely, this document guides the government, giving immigrants the right to the family reunion.
  2. Ensure security throughout the country by solving the problem of “dysfunctional” zones by expelling illegal immigrants and immigrants who have violated the law from the country. However, to expel immigrants who have already received punishment for the crimes committed is to go for “double punishment,” which is contrary to the norms of the law. In connection with the November terrorist attacks of 2015 in Paris, the country actively debated the issue of depriving terrorists’ French citizenship – it is about those who have dual citizenship and received French citizenship less than ten years ago. However, due to pressure from opponents of such tightening, introducing such amendments to the Constitution was not adopted.

The pendulum of public and scientific opinion in France hesitates, either towards the national ideal of equality and unification of rights or in favor of recognizing the right to distinguish ethnic communities between “republican universalism” and “cultural differentialism” (Asselshmidt, 2017). For some sociologists, integration into French society implies a clear understanding of belonging to the French nation not only as an ethnic community but also as a voluntary “community of citizens.” Others believe that only a nation-state based on republican principles can guarantee identity and security under the exacerbation of conflicts related to society’s economic instability.

They call for civil mobilization so that French identity ideas cease to be the trump card of the extreme right (Chin, 2017). Recent events in France have shown that all these actions did not have the desired effect. Under pressure from immigrants and the indigenous population, the French government turned towards “tight integration.” The question regarding the migration crisis after the events of November 13, 2015, when 129 people were killed and 300 injured in several terrorist attacks in Paris and the suburbs of France, became especially serious (Meyers-Belkin, 2020). By order of President Francois Hollande, a state of emergency was introduced in the country, and control over the crossing of state borders was strengthened.

It is difficult to imagine that the attitude of citizens of the French Republic towards migrants, which was not particularly welcoming before, will change in the next years, especially after the attacks of November 2015. On the contrary, the aggravation of conflicts based on the migration crisis can be predicted. According to analysts, in the coming years, France can expect failures in the social sphere and a recession in the economy (Chin, 2017). One of the most anticipated measures announced by the French government was quotas for professional immigration. They will primarily affect those sectors of the economy in which the number of vacant jobs exceeds the number of potential employees.

Demographic problems currently exacerbate the socio-political situation in modern society. In this regard, understanding the relationship between political and demographic processes and identifying the nature, essence, and direction of their interaction becomes an essential element in ensuring political stability. Considering demography in the context of political science, the issue of determining the political process by demographic factors, on the one hand, and on the other, the politicization of the demographic process, is being resolved; political consequences are analyzed in the context of demographic processes in a specific temporal and spatial characteristic, and it is proven that political changes are changes in the socio-political system of a society that occur as a result of ongoing demographic processes (Robbins & Smith, 2017).

If the external environmental factor was the main factor in population processes in traditional and industrial society, then in a post-industrial society, it becomes a political one. Namely, political trends, political conditions and factors, political forces, and the degree of their activity become the main factor in developing demographic processes. The study of demography at the present stage of development of society directly depends on the political context, the political factor.

In addition, surprising shifts have taken place in the EU regarding human rights, that is the EU comes to understand that there are threats, the solution of which is more important than the possible accusation of particular services in violation of human rights. It is also important here that the proposed solutions are only transitional and do not meet unconditional support in society and the political environment. Thus, the decisions taken do not lead to an agreement but, on the contrary, raise new questions and disputes.

Implications in Germany

In Germany, one of the critical issues that concern ordinary German citizens is a security under the influx of, mostly, Muslim refugees. The events of the beginning of 2016 in Cologne and other cities related to refugees’ aggressive behavior attracted the attention of not only German but also the world community to this topic. It should be noted that some experience in regulating the coexistence of carriers of different cultures has already been accumulated in Germany.

During the second half of the 20th century, the immigration component gradually grew in the structure of the population, and the number of Muslims increased in the first place. According to statistics, the ancestors of every five people registered in Germany were not Germans. These are official figures published by the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden (Chin, 2017). The coexistence of two faiths, Christian and Muslim, within one state’s borders inevitably poses a security problem. The main danger in this regard is the prospect of a large-scale conflict between cultures caused by interethnic and interfaith differences.

In its economic and political development, modern Germany is forced to overcome serious problems associated with immigration and immigrants’ integration. Moreover, the roots of most of these problems go far into the past – in the old West Germany and the 90s of the 20th century. These include the consequences of insufficiently regulated labor (unskilled) migration of the first wave (migrant workers), the consequences of underestimating the role of faith, miscalculations of the integration policy towards migrants of other cultures, underestimating the labor potential of Russian-speaking migration, and belated immigration legislation (Wilhelm, 2018).

Germany made several mistakes in immigration law matters, the structural consequences of which affected German society only decades later. These errors showed that the country inviting migrant workers should, in advance, at the level of relevant standards, determine its interests concerning these categories of people and, if necessary, clearly outline the conditions and boundaries of their stay in the country.

The results of the mistakes made have yet to be overcome. One of the most severe structural consequences was the spontaneous emergence of a non-integrable Muslim diaspora. For Germany, this phenomenon is particularly offensive since it did not have colonies in the Muslim world and did not have its Muslim population. Despite this, a Muslim, primarily Turkish, diaspora (today in four generations) emerged in the country, with a powerful cultural and religious apparatus, ramified social and consumer infrastructure, and powerful political potential. This diaspora grew out of low, unskilled Turkish migrant workers who came with workers from South and Southeast Europe to West Germany during the “economic miracle” for a short time – to work in heavy industries in the steel industry and mechanical engineering where German workers were not enough hands (Wilhelm, 2018).

The irregularity of migration legislation led to a country that did not officially accept foreigners was overwhelmed by them almost in no time. Existing laws and regulations determined this temporality. In such a situation, immigrants’ cultural and social integration did not justify itself economically; the legal and political loyalty of immigrants was enough.

Until the mid-90s of the 20th century, the authorities did not seek to engage in dialogue with the Muslim community living in the country. However, the growth of terrorist acts, the aggravation of social sentiment, the existence of a parallel “Muslim world,” upheavals in France, a “caricature” scandal, a constant increase in the number of Muslims forced the German leadership to change their attitude towards this problem. In the first decade of the 20th century, significant changes were made to German migration law. After the adoption of the Law on Immigration in 2005, state “integration courses” were created in the Federal Republic of Germany, the annual costs of which by 2010 amounted to about 186 million dollars (in the United States at the same time, for the integration of visitors spending was ten times less) (Trix, 2019).

It should be noted that after some time, specific authoritative organizations carried out monitoring of the quality of integration. According to a report by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees in 2010, as well as a study by the Berlin Institute for Population and Development in 2013, Muslims, namely representatives of the Turkish community in Germany, are experiencing integration problems to the most extent (Trix, 2019). Therefore, the search for optimal interactions between German society and the state with Muslim communities is quite an urgent task in the country.

Against the background of the lack of a constant dialogue between the authorities and Muslims, the popularity of extremist, fundamentalist organizations thrives, among which the Union of Muslim Communities stands out. The members of this organization’s radical mood were expressed in the appeal of its leader M. Kaplan in 1998 to a universal struggle for faith. In November 2000, the Düsseldorf Supreme Land Court sentenced Muhammad Kaplan to four years in prison for publicly calling for reprisal against his opponent, the Berlin caliph Ibrahim Sofu (Trix, 2019). In addition, many Islamists are located in Germany.

Some call themselves Islamic experts and work in Muslim cultural centers. Namely, they urge their listeners to distance themselves from the host society, and not to integrate into it, to reject the European culture and value system, and not to adopt their attractive sides. According to Trix (2019), 300 Hamas members, 900 Hezbollah members, and 1,200 Muslim Brotherhoods stay in Germany.

On the other hand, a sociological survey was conducted among various population groups, which showed that 91% of respondents associate Islam with the oppression of women, 75% consider that all those who were professing Islam should be called fanatics, 61% of the respondents in Germany believe that Christianity and Islam will not be able to coexist peacefully, 46% the respondents called Islam “backward religion”; 34% said that they did not trust those were professing Islam; 27% said that Muslim immigration to Germany should be prohibited (Trix, 2019, p. 104).

The growth of radical views in the Muslim environment, the outbursts of anti-Islamic sentiment in German society, as well as the reality of the terrorist threat make the authorities take confident steps towards strengthening security, which at the same time are not systematic, and in some aspects contradictory and spontaneous.

Along with such initiatives, opposing trends are also evident. Within five months after the attacks of September 11, 2001, attacks on Muslims, threats, and insults against them were observed in Germany. Moreover, the pressure on the followers of Islam is exerted not only by ordinary citizens but also by government officials. For example, during the next surge in anti-Islamic sentiment in Germany after the terrorist attacks in Madrid in March 2004, searches were conducted in more than 70 mosques (Chin, 2017, p. 288). It should be noted that these actions of the authorities are not always within the law.

The fight against security threats in modern Germany, including those related to immigrants, is complicated by the inability to resolve the issue of how to strengthen security within the country without damaging a democratic public order. The opposition of Western democracies to “internal danger,” according to politicians, will inevitably require the abandonment of certain principles of a democratic state of law. So, the ghost of the “police state” can become a reality; according to liberal critics, such a state’s first symptoms are evident. According to Chin (2017), at the same time, a consistent attack on a democratic state of the law is justified by the need to ensure this state’s existence.

Demographic scientists, trying to analyze the reasons for the situation in the EU countries, state that, as a result of European integration, there is a severe restructuring of the European political, economic, and civilization space, which can be safely called a geopolitical revolution. Migration changes the geopolitical picture of the world: some experts argue that its real goal is the dismantling of national-state formations and the elimination of political borders to ensure the free movement of transnational capital and to consolidate its control over critical areas of the continent (Chin, 2017). However, this geopolitical revolution is accompanied by a no less profound revolution in the field of demography, which scientists call the “demographic catastrophe.”

Political demography is understood as an element of the system of political science that studies the determination of the political process by demographic factors, on the one hand, and on the other, the politicization of demography, the object of study of which is social processes and the influence of demographic and political factors on their course. Simultaneously, the issues of ensuring national security, developing concepts and strategies for national security, including in the field of the population in all countries, represent the subject of close attention from politicians, the military, and civil society.

Implications in the USA

In the USA, it is especially noticeable that globalization processes and the imbalances caused by them in the natural movement of the population, uncontrolled migration processes destabilize regional, national, global political spaces and pose a threat to both national and global security. As you know, the United States is currently the third country globally in terms of population after China and India. It is not surprising that many people ask themselves: “How will the composition of the population of the United States change in the coming decades?”, “Will the country return to the previous rate of demographic growth?” and “What role will immigration play in these processes?”

The American nation is a relatively young multiethnic entity that has developed through a long cultural, economic, social, and domestic interaction and mixing and assimilation of descendants of people of different ethnic backgrounds, representing all three primary races of humankind: Mongoloid, Caucasoid and Negroid. The racial composition of the 2010 United States Census is presented in Table 1.

Racial composition Amount Percent
Americans 308 745 538 100,00%
White Americans 223 553 265 72,40%
African Americans 38 929 319 12,60%
Asian Americans 14 674 252 4,80%
Native Americans or Alaska Natives 2 932 248 0,90%
Native Hawaiians or other inhabitants of Oceania 540 013 0,20%
Some other races 19 107 368 6,20%
Two or more races 9 009 073 2,90%

Table 1. Racial composition of the USA population.

Taken from “Political demography: How population changes are reshaping international security and national politics” by the Goldstone et al., 2011.

American state ideology positions the United States as a country of immigrants. For more than two hundred years, this postulate corresponded to the actual situation, and state policy as a whole followed it. Indeed, there were crises and explosions of xenophobic sentiments. For example, it should be recalled the long history of rejection by Catholics, primarily the Irish. However, the integration of new arrivals took place. It can be assumed that the main reason for this was not only the need for a booming American economy in working hands (this need still exists today) but also the general readiness of immigrants to accept the US culture.

Today the situation is different. The debate in the United States at the end of the last century regarding the admission of immigrants to the country focused primarily on economic issues. However, September 11, 2001, radically changed the discussion, inextricably linking the problems of immigration policy and national security. This tragedy showed the US immigration system’s presence of a large number of weaknesses that the terrorists were able to exploit freely.

No wonder older white people are anxious, increasingly surrounded by entirely different immigrants who speak other languages, primarily Spanish. Trump responds to this alarm by promising to close the borders and restore the realities of the past. Democrats often take directly opposite positions, hoping to enlist the support of Hispanic voters. At the center of this debate, today is the fate of Central American refugees. The deplorable situation in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras is not a secret. The desire of these states’ citizens to get to the United States is understandable. In response to Trump’s promises to completely close the border, Central America’s flight takes on a massive scale.

Today, immigrants are a heterogeneous population. On the one hand, they include highly educated and highly qualified people. For example, in the USA, immigrants from Asia are ahead of the native population and representatives of other groups of immigrants today in terms of education. About half of all graduate students in physics at American universities in 1998 were foreigners. 32% of all scientists and engineers who work today in the Silicon Valley of California are immigrants. In 2016, all 6 U.S. Nobel Prize winners in economics or other research areas were immigrants.

At the same time, new immigration contains many poorly trained, unskilled, or unskilled workers. Many of these are located in the United States without proper illegal documentation. Typically, these people, mostly Hispanics, have poorly paid jobs and are denied access to medicine and other public goods. They settle in the most impoverished areas and make up the lower stratum of American society.

According to studies, immigration will play a dominant role in future US population growth. It is estimated that by 2050 there will be 387 million people in the United States, which is 64 million more than it is currently, with immigration making the most significant contribution to this growth. However, such a large-scale migration modifies not only the quantitative composition of US society but also its qualitative component, namely the racial-ethnic structure.

Currently, the most significant flow of immigrants comes from Latin America and Asia. According to data for 2016, about 18% of the total population were Hispanic and 5% Asian. To date, these groups are significantly faster than the white population, which remains in the majority (63%). According to demographic forecasts, by 2044, the United States will become a society consisting of racial-ethnic groups of equal size (Goldstone et al., 2011). Even though the forecasts give very rough estimates and do not consider mixed marriages, they all predict a violation of the existing racial-ethnic balance.

The tremendous pace of immigration that has been observed in recent decades, and which is expected soon, noticeably changes the racial and ethnic composition of the US population. Minorities are increasingly expanding their presence in the country and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future while preserving their language, culture, and traditions, which will also affect society’s changing confessional structure.

It is already becoming apparent that the proportion of Christian immigrants decreases, unlike Muslims and Hindus, whose community is gradually increasing. Undoubtedly, such changes lead to increased unrest among the white Christian population since it is believed that representatives of the above faiths, especially Muslims, are able, under the guise of refugees, to infiltrate the country and spread extremist views.

Although after 2001, there was not a single major terrorist attack in the United States, it was not possible to altogether avoid the penetration of supporters of terrorist ideology into the country. The bombing during the Boston Marathon (April 2013) and mass shooting at a social center in San Bernardino (December 2015) were staged by immigrants who successfully passed all stages of control, as well as illegal immigrants, who currently number about eleven in the United States million people and does not stop increasing. Thus, the ever-increasing presence of both legal and undocumented immigrants poses complex and sometimes contradictory challenges for United States federal and regional law enforcement agencies.

Already at the moment, the size of the border control service is more significant than ever before, and immigration policies, more precisely, legislative orders of the government and the activities of migration services, sometimes contradict the civil rights of immigrants, which leads to sharp criticism from the part of American society, namely the left-wing liberal destabilizing the domestic political situation and, accordingly, the internal component of national security. The United States’ future depends on solving migration problems no less than, for example, on continuing international oil trade for dollars or Sino-US trade disagreements. The current crisis around the fate of Central American refugees convinces of this.

Implications in Russia

A huge threat is the spread of radical Islam. Namely, migrants represent the excellent basis for the spread of the ideological stamps of Islamism. Traditional Islam cannot restrain the radicals. As an example, it should be cited one of the recent events. The vast majority of Muslims in Russia and the CIS are Sunnis, with whom the most good-neighborly relations have traditionally developed, as between Russia and the Middle Eastern countries with the overall Sunni population. However, some time ago, quite unexpectedly, even for Muslims themselves, Yusuf Qaradawi, a leading fanatic in the Arab world, the head of the so-called International Association of Muslim Scientists, declared Russia the number one enemy.

According to the famous Israeli anti-terror expert Shabak Amit Assa, the statement of Qaradawi poses a direct threat to the life of Russians, as when an authority like Qaradawi declares a country as the main enemy, then his radical followers take it as a guide to action (Schwedler, 2019). The strategic task of radical Muslim movements to develop the North Caucasus’ situation is to create a theocratic community by merging the Caucasus Emirate with Astrakhan Oblast’s territories, Northern Kazakhstan, Tatarstan, and Bashkiria populated mainly by co-religionists (Schwedler, 2019).

Social pessimism arises, which negatively affects the overall prospect of survival and development. Against this background, there is a large outflow of the Russian population from a number of Russian regions. More specifically, a steady trend of the last decade has been a sharp decline in the Russian population in the territories of the North Caucasus regions due to a decline in the birth rate and their active resettlement to other regions of the country.

Moreover, migrants often do not have higher education and can only do primitive physical work. Deindustrialization of the economy contributes to the influx of migrants, and they, in turn, strengthen and aggravate this process, inhibiting industrial production development. Hence, European entrepreneurs are forced to move their production facilities to Southeast Asia countries and seek cheaper and more skilled labor than visiting workers. Also, a well-known fact is the criminalization of society. The close connection between the shadow economy, crime, corruption, and illegal labor migration is recognized by most economists. The main types of their activities are the following: drug and arms trafficking, document forgery, kidnapping and trafficking, crimes against property, and crimes in the consumer market.

The following factors contribute to the criminalization of migration processes: the marginalization of the population, both migrants and indigenous people, due to unemployment; development of criminal business (the illegal arms trade or drug business); the formation of new segments of the shadow turnover of financial resources, sources, and channels for financing corruption, extremist and terrorist activities; replenishment of terrorist organizations with new participants foreigners and members of diasporas. Illegal migration is becoming the source of the formation and continued existence of transnational criminal groups.

Ethnic migration leads to a change in the ethnocultural composition of the region and carries the threat of crowding out the indigenous population and its discrimination. Migrants prefer to create communities, diasporas, rather than to integrate into the local community. Yesterday’s migrants use promotion in power to lobby the interests of their fellow countrymen. As a result of migration, the ethnic composition of the population changes, thereby reducing its cohesion and solidarity. In addition, the cost of labor is reduced since the newcomer-migrant is happy with any work and salary. As a result, a state of hostility arises between migrants and the indigenous population.

In modern criminological literature, the issue of the effect of migration on the national security of Russia is not sufficiently studied. Meanwhile, any country, including Russia, is interested in ensuring that migration flows, regardless of the starting point of a non-mass exodus, do not contradict national interests, including creating ethnic organized criminal groups by them. The national concept of regulating migration flows emphasizes the need to protect national interests and ensure our country’s security since mass migration of foreign citizens leads to spontaneous population growth and worsening of the criminal situation (Karabchuk et al., 2017).

For example, the number of Chinese people living in Primorye is 3 million people, who are indirectly involved in the economic and social life of the region, and the Chinese and Russian shadow and criminal businesses are consolidating. According to Karabchuk et al. (2017),The demand for representatives of the PRC also has a severe impact on the socio-economic development of the entire East Siberian region.

In fact, if one analyzes the ethnic aspect of migration, then over the past twenty years, since the mass exodus of Tajiks from Central Asia as a result of the civil war, they have created in the East Siberian region, in particular in the cities of Irkutsk, Angarsk, Ulan-Ude, as well as points on the outskirts and in suburban villages, where entire streets are already populated by immigrants from Tajikistan.

A similar situation is happening with representatives of China. All this suggests that Tajiks and Chinese migration is not random but is characterized by a particular focus on developing new living space and the introduction of its subculture to attract its fellow tribesmen further. According to Karabchuk et al. (2017), of particular concern at present in the East Siberian region is the activity of ethno-organized crime, since the common language, customs, traditions, the existence of patrimonial and religious ties ensures the consolidation of criminal groups of migrants and represents a sort of shield that ensures their safety, making it impossible to penetrate their environment.

Chinese migration requires a particular discussion in the context of the international community’s challenges that are related to migration and its management capabilities. This is the too high demographic and migration potential of China and the ongoing growth in the number of Chinese migrants and Chinese communities in many countries. It is surprising that the Western world, being concerned about the potential threats posed by Muslim or Arab migration, at the same time “does not notice” the Chinese migration, which could have dramatic consequences for the global political situation in the future. The following brief analysis of Chinese migration to Russia is an example of China’s overall migration strategy.

In recent years, Chinese migration to Russia has exceeded the scope of the specific migration problem of the Russian Far East region; slowly but surely, it is turning into a problem of the scale of the Eurasian migration space as a whole.

To a large extent, Chinese migration to Russia is transitory and is aimed at EU countries, and in this context, it carries an individual demographic, economic, and political potential. China is known to have enormous labor resources. As a result of the existing age structure of the population over the coming decades, the share of the population in the age group of 16–65 years, that is, the able-bodied population, will exceed 70%. This means that China has enormous labor resources.

The Chinese government has been unable to use them effectively in recent decades. He is unlikely to succeed in ensuring employment in subsequent years. Thus, it is quite natural to assume that a particular part of Chinese citizens will seek to find work and earn money abroad. After China adopted an openness strategy, more than 10 million Chinese citizens annually become international migrants, and their number is increasing by more than 30% per year (Balzer & Repnikova, 2013). For Russia, Chinese migration is now of particular relevance. Chinese migrants are the second largest group of foreigners in the country after the Ukrainians.

Judging by their composition, two categories of Chinese migrants come to Russia: people in business with high incomes, often with higher education, fluent in the Russian language, having their own business in China, but willing to try their hand at Russia, and workers with individual working skills, secondary, incomplete secondary or secondary technical education, with low income in China, with poor or complete lack of knowledge of the Russian language. Especially attractive for them are the opportunities for obtaining higher earnings, as well as advanced training.

The third and sufficiently large category of migrants with a stable composition are small entrepreneurs, who are engaged, often with their families, in small-scale wholesale cross-border trade, mainly in the Far East. Over time, under pressure from the competition, some of them lost their business and turned into hired workers of trading companies located in the free economic zones of the Northeast region of China, but remained to work in the trading markets of the Far Eastern cities known to them. According to Kruglov (2019), this is one of the most stable, firmly settled Chinese communities in Russia.

The next group of migrants comprises workers, among whom there can be up to 30-35% of the illiterate employed by Russian enterprises or individual employers (Balzer & Repnikova, 2013). Finally, another group of migrants is made up of Chinese students. Some of them, as already noted, are pseudo-students for whom a student card serves only as a means of legalization, while the subject of classes is not studying but various kinds of illegal activity. As for the illegal immigrants themselves, their number, like the number of illegal immigrants of any other nationality, remains unknown.

Predicting the dynamics of the Russian population between 1950 and 2050 (Fig. 2), it is interesting to note that although both the US Census Bureau and UNDP give their assessments of the situation, neither the Federal State Statistics Service provides such data for this time, nor, as far as one knows, by any other official Russian source. Nevertheless, Russian experts conducted several studies in this direction most of them affect the period until 2020.

Russian Population Growth Forecast from 1950 to 2050.
Figure 2. Russian Population Growth Forecast from 1950 to 2050.

Reprinted from “Russian population ethnic structure: Trends and transformations” by the Safronov, 2015. Researcher (Figure 3) clarify that only if fertility rates increase and mortality levels decrease their own prognosis can come close to the estimate provided by the UN and the US Census Bureau.

Population growth forecast with zero migration growth.
Figure 3. Population growth forecast with zero migration growth.

In general, the demographic situation in Russia (as well as throughout the world) raises many questions. It is directly related to political, socio-economic, environmental processes, climatic conditions of life, and natural crisis phenomena. In this sense, Russia in the 20th and early 21st centuries experienced and still is experiencing a series of powerful socio-political upheavals that cannot but affect demographic processes, which pose a serious internal threat to the national security of the state.

Although such pessimistic forecasts are somewhat exaggerated, it is not yet noticed that the slow but steady decline in the ethnic Russian population in favor of peoples of other nationalities should be replaced by the opposite trend. The decrease in the number of ethnic Russians against the background of the general demographic crisis in Russia is especially closely connected with migration policy problems. Most experts agree that Russia will not be able to overcome the demographic crisis without introducing a large-scale immigration policy (Goldstone et al., 2011). Some sources indicate that if the level of migration remains at its current level, by 2050, migrants and their descendants will represent more than half of the total population of the Russian Federation.

The most apparent solution, mass immigration, provides economic security and the stabilization and sustainability of the Russian economy while undermining social security. The demographic crisis is a threat to the economic security of Russia, and, as it can be seen, this threat is related to the extent to which the Russian labor force is able to increase its efficiency and productivity, to the extent that the authorities manifest their ability to draw up a coherent and clear policy that would ensure the maintenance of the given rates of economic growth in the condition of a decrease in labor resources and reinvestments imbalance in the Russian economy with pension costs set and healthcare.

The concept of social security is directly related to the identity and self-determination of communities and the emergence of threats that, from the point of view of communities, can threaten this identity. Threats to the identity of communities can be generated by migration and the fear of being weakened and enslaved. Horizontal rivalry, that is the fear that cultural or linguistic identity may be destroyed, and vertical rivalry, that is, isolation or integration, can also be seen as threats to social identity.

According to Kogan (2019), in Russia, one can observe how the natural population decline, combined with internal migration trends (population movement from the Russian Far East to the European part of the country), which are of particular importance against the background of mass Chinese immigration, aggravates the understanding that the social security of the Russian people and indigenous peoples of the Far East in this peripheral region is at risk.

The Citizenship Law marks a shift towards a vision of migration as a threat to the country’s stability. It is obvious that after 2001, migration policy went through a period of radical transformations, which was reflected in interagency restructuring: the liquidation of the Ministry of National and Migration Policy and the transfer of its competence to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Although some observers say it is too early to judge how these changes will affect migration policies, others fear that there is a shift to a repressive approach to migration.

Implications in the Middle East

It is interesting to note that the demographic situation in the Middle East countries reveals similar trends in the size of the population and its age structure. Demographers often consider these geographically close countries as a single megaregion with similar economic, political, and cultural conditions for the occurrence of demographic events (Metelev, 2016). The countries of the Middle East belong to the group of less developed (or developing) countries of the world, in which modern mechanisms of economic regulation have not yet received proper development, and the private sector is experiencing well-known problems in competition with the state.

Residents of the region, mostly professing Islam, are inclined to adhere to traditional values in terms of the number of children in the family and education, which, despite growing democratization and successful gender policy, is still conditionally accessible for women.

The demographic transition in the second half of the 20th century, accompanied by a very rapid decline in mortality and high population growth, was characteristic of most countries in the Middle East and North Africa. A sharp decline in mortality while maintaining a traditionally high birth rate has led to the fact that the vast majority of children born have survived to work age. Against this background, many political upheavals occurred; in the Middle East and North Africa, such upheavals included “bread riots” in Egypt in 1977, political upheavals in Syria in 1982, the civil war in Algeria in 1992-2002, and most recently (since 2011), revolutions and social explosions in Arab countries (Cole, 2015). In Iran itself, the 1979 Islamic Revolution belongs to this series of events.

All these shocks occurred against the background of a long-term trend of decreasing mortality, rising living standards and consumption, eliminating hunger, and, in some cases, reaching levels of overeating. The factor of rapid youth growth played an important role in such shocks amid urbanization, which led to the concentration of a large number of young people in cities, and a large number of young people could not find well-paid work (and often work in general) (Schwedler, 2019).

In particular, in the countries of the Arab Spring, there was a very high proportion of young people aged 15-30 (30-50%), and young people were highly educated, which increased their dissatisfaction with their situation. In particular, migrants from the countryside, mainly young people, who intensively moved to cities during rapid economic growth in the first half of the 1970s, played a large role in Iran’s Islamic revolution (Ahmadi, 2020). They expected improvement in their situation but could not adapt to the new, urban living conditions and faced serious economic difficulties. Many of them were forced to apply for unskilled jobs, and a significant part became unemployed.

Indeed, the causes of the Islamic revolution and other political upheavals in the Middle East in recent decades cannot be reduced only to a sharp increase in youths’ number. There were many other important factors of these political upheavals, in addition to the demographic ones, but the demographic factor had a very great influence on these events. For example, according to Cole (2015), in Iran, a huge role was played by the extremely uneven distribution of incomes, the deterioration of the position of the working strata of the population in the last years of the Shah’s reign, massive repressions, the dissatisfaction of a significant part of the population with the course toward Westernizing the country and pro-Western politics.

With serious demographic pressure and a high share of youth in the population, the country, even with unfavorable economic dynamics, can remain stable due to the presence of effectively functioning democratic institutions and a high level of legitimacy of the political regime. In the Arab Spring countries, democratic institutions were underdeveloped, and this was a very important factor in their destabilization. The example of Latin America also confirms this in the early to mid-1990s, there was also a high proportion of young people, but as a result of democratization, the political situation there was stable at that time.

Moreover, the demographic development of the region lags behind the economic one. At a similar level of urbanization and per capita income, a demographic transition took place in the countries of East Asia, and in the countries of the Arabian Peninsula, the development of the oil industry and the subsequent modernization of socio-economic living conditions led to a decrease in mortality while maintaining a high birth rate (Doces, 2011). The result was the classic “population explosion” long-term population growth. Another problem of the region is the long-term existence of regional conflicts, for example, the Israeli-Arab conflict, the severity of which to a certain extent depends on the ratio of the population of the participants.

For example, Iran is a multinational country, occupying 16th place in the world in terms of the diversity of ethnic groups and languages. Representatives of national minorities make up significant segments of the local population, for the most part, they are indigenous to the territory of Iran or have lived here historically for a long time. The largest minorities are primarily Azerbaijanis (being the second-largest Iranian people after the Persians, they make up, according to various estimates, from 16% to 40% of the population), then the Kurds (from 5% to 10%). At the same time, the Baluchis and Turkmens also have fairly significant enclaves (Schwedler, 2019).

Small minorities are Assyrians, Armenians, Jews, Arabs, etc. With the exception of Arabs, these latter groups are not only national but also confessional minorities in Iran. According to the 2006 general census, in a country with a population of 70.5 million people, 70 million (99.3%) were classified as Muslims, the number of Christians was 109.4 thousand, Zoroastrians 19.8 thousand, Jews 9.3 thousand. According to the 2011 census, the population of Iran increased to 75.1 million people, and the number of Muslims increased to 74.7 million (99.5%), the number of Christians raised up to 117.7 thousand, Zoroastrians up to 25.3 thousand, and the number of Jews decreased to 8.8 thousand (Schwedler, 2019). According to the 2011 census, the population of Iran increased to 75.1 million people, and the number of Muslims increased to 74.7 million (99.5%), Christians up to 117.7 thousand, Zoroastrians up to 25.3 thousand, and the number of Jews decreased to 8.8 thousand.

As one can see, the objective conditions for the development of confessional and national differences in Iran are quite substantial. It should also be borne in mind that the statistics given are official data. In addition, it is important to note the following: 54.2 thousand people called themselves representatives of other faiths in 2006 and 49.1 thousand in 2011; 205.3 thousand in 2006 and 265.9 thousand in 2011 did not determine their religious affiliation (Schwedler, 2019). This fact can be explained by the need for people to hide their own religion, which, in turn, also indicates the complexity of the confessional situation in the country. The national and religious problem that directly affects national security is aggravated by the fact that a significant part of the population is represented by divided peoples living on opposite Iranian border sides.

The peoples of Iran, the most prone to extremism to achieve autonomy or even complete political independence, including Azerbaijanis, Kurds, Balochs, and Arabs. They have a distinct identity, a long historical past and, in addition, are divided, that is, “they retain the desire to unite with their ethnic groups on the other side of the border” (Schwedler, 2019, p. 111). The history of Iran of the 20th century gave many examples of powerful separatist movements, which were most often supported by external forces, the USSR, Great Britain, Turkey, and influenced the situation in the region.

In Africa, fertility declines have not occurred in recent decades; population growth continues on a scale that humanity did not know. There has been a marked increase in numbers for the African continent over the past sixty years: on ongoing trends, Africa’s potential population will cross the 2.5 billion mark by 2050 and 4.5 billion by 2100 (Goldstone, 2019). There is no doubt that these are incredibly grandiose numbers that cannot fail to affect all spheres of human life. For reasons of political correctness, the fact that overpopulation is becoming the main cause of hunger, lack of freshwater, ethnic conflicts, and migration is stubbornly hushed up. Previously, colonialism, the politics of Western concerns, and corruption of local elites were blamed for all the continent’s troubles, but today the demographic factor plays the most negative role.

It should be noted that, although the global trend shows demographic stabilization, the African birth rates are not decreasing or striving to balance. On average, there are 5.6 children per woman in Nigeria, 6.4 in Somalia (even during the civil war), and 7.6 in Niger (Doces, 2011). There are many reasons: due to the achievements of modern medicine, it became possible to decrease infant mortality, but women are still regarded as “birth machines,” and family planning practices are not used. In Africa, both Muslim and Christian communities are characterized by this approach. There is a huge growth of the young population, which ‘consume’ all the benefits of economic growth.

Young people without prospects of employment and earnings are explosive material, they are prone to violence and extremism. The easiest way is emigration. As a result, increasingly more African youth flock to an “aging” childless Europe and create an intractable refugee problem there. According to various estimates, tens of millions of Africans can flood into Europe, the next “resettlement of peoples” threatens the old continent. In Africa itself, a population explosion leads to the exacerbation of religious and ethnic conflicts in Rwanda, Sudan, Darfur, Somalia, and other regions. Many political scientists in Europe emphasize that the “old continent” will not be able to cope with the demographic processes from the Middle East and Africa. Namely, this happened in 2015, when over one and a half million refugees arrived in Europe, and it will inevitably happen again, and on a much larger scale.

The unprecedented population growth in Africa is due to a number of factors not found in other developing regions. Firstly, in Africa, there is huge socio-economic backwardness, archaic family structures have been preserved, urbanization is limited. Most importantly, there is no strong state that could take control of the process of population reproduction, as was the case in China. The corrupt elites of African countries do not engage in demographic politics at all and, on the contrary, encourage childbearing. The above-mentioned allows building a systemic model of the correlation between national security and population growth. Although the correlation is ambiguous, and a lot of factors represent factors of influence, it can be recommended to use the GE matrix tool, as shown in Fig. 4.

GE matrix for system model of the correlation between national security and population growth.
Figure 4. GE matrix for system model of the correlation between national security and population growth.

In turn, the X axis represents population growth (which, as integral index, describes also its ethnic composition, etc.) b Y axis represents national security (in multifaceted dimensions).

Conclusion and Recommendations

In the past, the demographic factor in the geopolitical analysis was of secondary importance since smaller nations could have greater economic and military power, political and cultural influence. In the 21st century, there has been a rapid increase in the population in developing countries, reducing and aging the population in developed countries. However, poverty in developing countries is not a permanent condition: globalization facilitates technology transfer, which, coupled with a high population and rising incomes, leads to a change in the economic weight of countries with far-reaching geopolitical consequences.

Demographic trends can also create serious difficulties for maintaining the NATO bloc. Firstly, the accelerated aging of the EU population (the average age over half a century will increase from 37.7 to 47 years) will reduce human and financial opportunities to maintain the size of European armies, and the United States will not have such problems, which will reduce the military importance of the EU as a strategic partner for the USA. Secondly, differences in immigration flows (in the EU, the majority of migrants from North Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, while in the USA they are Latin America, China, India, etc.) will lead to an increase in ties with these countries as opposed to the Euro-Atlantic.

According to scientists, an aging Europe will increasingly lose its economic and political weight, the world, as a result, will cease to be Eurocentric, and the future of NATO raises increasingly more fears due to demographic problems that deepen the gap between the Allies (Pothier, 2019; ICF, 2019). It is difficult to disagree with this, knowing about large-scale demographic shifts and the specifics of migration flows on both sides of the Atlantic.

Globalization creates a situation of diffusion of agents and political functions on a global scale, therefore significantly reducing the national state’s value, which in our time needs to argue its usefulness and capacity. At the same time, the strength and stability of nation-states remain, according to F. Fukuyama, the most important factor in the international order (Cincotta, 2019). State stability has many components, not the least among which are factors of social integration and national unity, and one of the means to ensure the latter is a well-chosen and implemented the concept of ethnonational policy, the purpose of which is to coordinate the tasks of national consolidation with a trend towards an ever-growing ethnic to racial and cultural diversity. The best basis for such a policy possibly, in other newly formed states, where the problems of national consolidation are still on the agenda, today could be a concept of liberal multiculturalism appropriately adapted to such states’ conditions.

There are both purely pragmatic and moral reasons for making a choice in favor of multiculturalism. Morality is associated with ethnocultural justice, which implies equal respect for all peoples’ dignity and equal treatment of all, combined with state protection provided for cultural rights.

Pragmatic reasons are related to the impossibility of successfully implementing an alternative policy of assimilation in the modern era, especially in the new post-Soviet states, where the main group that found themselves in the minority is in the past the dominant ethnic group of a large multinational empire state. To summarize the above, one can propose the following definition of a concept that interests (it applies primarily to the political and managerial sciences): multiculturalism is the principle of ethnonational, educational, the cultural policy that recognizes and supports the right of citizens to preserve, develop and defend their (ethnical) cultural features, and the state obliges to support such efforts of citizens.

In the 21st century, demographic processes will become the most important factor in global development and, accordingly, global politics. Consideration and orientation of national governments’ policies to these demographic trends is an urgent need, but an attempt to ignore them can turn into serious problems in the future. At the same time, it is possible to influence these trends only at the level of global politics, through deep and comprehensive interaction of all countries.


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