Panel on Historical Demography

Michel Oris (Université de Genève)
Martin Dribe (Lund University)
Koen Matthijs (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)
Faujdar Ram (International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS))
Diego Ramiro Fariñas (IEGD-CCHS Spanish National Research Council (CSIC))
Lucia Pozzi (Università degli Studi Di Sassari)
Hélène Vézina (Université Du Québec à Chicoutimi)
Council Liaison 
Catherine Rollet (Université de Versailles)
IUSSP Secretariat 
Paul Monet (International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP))

Terms of Reference

During the coming four years, our Panel wants to invest in four research areas:


Colonial populations: Colonization was a major component of a first globalization and of the world microbiological unification, with drastic – although extremely diverse – consequences on indigenous populations, a high variety of interactions between the old and the new inhabitants, the emergence of new cultures and demographic patterns in changed environment. This history still deeply weights today and we believe it’s time for an ambitious synthesis at the world level, to be presented in Busan. 

The renewal of urban historical demography: Because of the massive documentation, the population size, its mobility and social diversity, urban demography has always been a pioneering field within historical demography. From 10 years a vivid dynamic can be observed with the construction of new data bases linking individuals across various sources, locating the trajectories within the urban frame and the housing, labour, and matrimonial markets, and taking into account the impact of institutions and policies. 

Revisiting the demographic transitions with longitudinal data and methods: There are obviously several overlaps between this topic and the preceding one. However, here we want very explicitly to promote the development of the longitudinal data bases and diffuse the life course and intergenerational methods of analysis, especially among the young historical demographers. It implies a move of the time dimension that is specific to historians from a macro (trends and structures) to a micro (individuals and the families) perspective that substantially contributes to a new understanding of the demographic transitions. This is for sure the most dynamic area of research right now, and also the one where we can hope the best progresses. 

Demography in the 20th century: Already with “Colonial populations” and “Revisiting the demographic transitions…” our Panel wants to increase in quality and quantity the vivid dialogue between historical demographers and demographers. This topic will even more contribute to this objective since we have here the ambition to provide a sense of historicity to demographers engaged in their daily activities oriented on the present and the future. A first opportunity was suggested by the preceding panel who noted the several projects which are trying “to fill the gap” between the nominal data bases about 19thcentury population and the surveys of the late 20th century. A second opportunity could be to study – in comparative and interdisciplinary terms – another “past that weights”, the baby-boom and its massive generations who are reaching right now the retirement age. A third opportunity is for sure to analyse the transformation of demography as a discipline, with institutions, organizations, topics and paradigms. 


International Seminar on a Demographic History of Colonial Populations: Pioneers, Settlers and Mixed Populations (16th-20th Centuries)

Lyon, France, 25-26 November 2013


International Seminar Past and Present. Revisiting the Demographic Transitions in the South through Individual Longitudinal Data 

Mumbai, India, 17-19 January 2013


International Seminar on the Baby Boom: In the Shadow of the Past

Lyon, France, 19-20 November 2012


International Seminar on Socio-economic Stratification and Fertility before, during and after the Demographic Transition

Alghero, Italy, 27-29 September 2012


International Seminar on New Approaches to Urban Health and Mortality during the Health Transition 

Sevilla, Spain, 14-17 December 2011


International Seminar on the History of Demography in the 20th Century : uses, concepts and methods

Geneva, Switzerland, 26 September 2011