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A Global History of Historical Demography

Half a Century of Interdisciplinarity

Edited By 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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33. Historical Demography in Slovakia in the Last Fifty Years (Pavol Tišliar and Ján Golian)

Extract

Historical Demography in Slovakia in the Last Fifty Years Pavol TIŠLIAR and Ján GOLIAN1 In the last two decades, Slovak historiography has undergone a deep transfor- mation, one marked especially by the search for and subsequent readily embrace of new avenues of research. The fall of communism, still felt all across Slovak society, has opened up a number of issues which could not have been openly addressed, studies and interpreted until late 1980s. The following years were therefore predominantly dedicated to coming to terms with one’s past, especially in terms of political history. Recently, a new generation of young historians has risen, unburdened by that past and free to attempt an objective reevaluation of Slovak history and especially the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century. Along with these broad themes, there is now space and time to be devoted to other as- pects of historiography, including the study of population and the past few years have seen real support for demographic research in the form of large research projects and grant. When tracing the history of Slovak demographic research, one must first look to the early years of the 20th century when the first works of demographic nature appeared. These, however, were limited to the analysis of the population development, both in contemporary as well as in historical terms. Moreover, the data used was exclusively that published by Austro-Hungarian and Czechoslo- vak authorities in official census reports and did not include information on fam- ilies or other population...

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