Attila Melegh

Senior Fellow
Corvinus University, Budapest, Hungary
Project Title: 
Between Global and Local Hierarchies – a Comparative Analysis of Population Discourses in the 20th Century in Eastern and Southern Europe
Project Abstract: 

The project compares pronatalist population discourses in a comparative historical framework by comparing texts of demographers and social scientists in four countries in Eastern and Southern Europe in the 20th century. This work is integrated into a long term efforts to explore new ways of comparing discourses on population between in the 20th century in order to better understand the sources of various forms of demographic nationalisms and demographic extremisms from a global historical comparative perspective. The methodological innovation lies in the comparative analysis of the interplays between discursively constructed global and local hierarchies. I argue that these discourses organize the management of the reproduction of human bodies on a massive scale, as well as competition on global and local levels for resources and/or fights for an improved position in discursively constructed global and local hierarchies. In this sense I propose that Foucauldian bio-political concerns need to be reintegrated into global versus local social inequality systems and related discourses of class conflicts. During the planned work I will systematically reflect Hungarian "national" and local perspectives onto other areas most notably Italy, Bulgaria and Romania and at this stage I will compare and reinterpret texts on population development and population policy of major demographers and social scientists including Gini, Sergi, Loria, Livi-Bacci, Teleki, Kovács, Andorka, Monigl, Klinger, Gusti Trebici, Stahl, Gheţãu, Mishaikov, Zagorov, Stefanov.