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.

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Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Curtis, B. (2006). The Politics of Demography. In The Oxford Handbook of Contextual Political Analysis. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199270439.003.0033