The Politics of Demography

Bruce Curtis

in The Oxford Handbook of Contextual Political Analysis

Published in print March 2006 | ISBN: 9780199270439
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

The Politics of Demography

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  • Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • Political Behaviour



This article examines the politics of demographic knowledge both in terms of its political conditions of possibility and its practical utility. It explains that demographic knowledge is inherently a political and administrative knowledge because it is based on conventions for establishing equivalences among human subjects and events, for attributing identities to them, and for locating them in time and space. It suggests that demographic knowledge can create powerful new possibilities for configuring and re-configuring social relations and processes in keeping with a great variety of interests and that demography can participate in rational social planning, in the identification of the environmental circumstances that surround disease clusters, and even in ethnic cleansing.

Keywords: demographic knowledge; politics; political conditions; social relations; social planning; ethnic cleaning

Article.  7607 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Comparative Politics ; Political Behaviour

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