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A Global History of Historical Demography

Half a Century of Interdisciplinarity

Antoinette Fauve-Chamoux, Ioan Bolovan and Sølvi Sogner

At the XXIst World Congress of the International Committee of Historical Sciences (ICHS/CISH) in 2010 in Amsterdam, the International Commission for Historical Demography (ICHD) decided to write an overview of its own history. Fifty years had gone by since the CISH XIst World Congress in Stockholm 1960, when historians took the first tentative initiatives to create a wholly new interdisciplinary commission for historical demography, a meeting place for a budding discipline where researchers in letters and science could meet, exchange ideas, cultivate and develop a new field. This book is the outcome of that decision.

Demography, past, present and future is a common concern for all inhabitants of this planet. The variation is great, however, with regard to sources, social and political conditions, state of the art, technological development, national and local initiatives. In the course of half a century many changes take place. Keeping abreast of the gigantic streams of information and innovation in the field is demanding, even more so for a discipline with global dimensions and ambitions. The book makes fascinating reading, and preparing it has been a rewarding and thought provoking experience. The thirty-seven articles in the book represent as many different stories.

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Introduction: A Global History of Historical Demography. Time for an Anthology (Antoinette Fauve-Chamoux, Ioan Bolovan and Sølvi Sogner)

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Introduction A Global History of Historical Demography. Time for an Anthology Antoinette FAUVE-CHAMOUX, Ioan BOLOVAN and Sølvi SOGNER1 History deals with humankind in the past, in all its multiple facets. Demography deals with humankind as well, but with a stricter focus on the lifespan – being born, bearing children, moving around, dying – activities that people have in common no matter their living conditions or political systems. History and de- mography share an interest in people, and over the last fifty years or so, a sub- discipline has developed: historical demography. It was not called demographic history, however, not even by historians who work the field and use this approach to the past. What is in a name? Is historical demography a misnomer? The term may not be ideal. But it does have a historical explanation.2 1 Antoinette Fauve-Chamoux, a social historian and historical demographer, is Professor emerita at Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, where she teaches History of the Family, EHESS, Centre de Recherches Historiques/CNRS, 190, avenue de France, 75013 Paris, France; e-mail: antoinette.fauve-chamoux@ehess.fr. She is also attached to University of the Western Cape, Statistics and Population Studies Department, Bellville, Republic of South Africa. She was closely involved in the global development of historical demography. Ioan Bolovan, historian and historical demographer, is Professor at the Department of His- tory, Babeş-Bolyai University, 1 Mihail Kogălniceanu St., 400084, Cluj-Napoca, Romania; e-mail: bolovani@yahoo.com. He teaches courses on Modern Romanian History, and historical demography in global per- spective....

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