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Europe by numbers

This book is a history of an illusion. It is also a history of the dream that preceded the illusion. The book discusses statistics as the field of tension between the scientific claims of neutrality and universality on the one hand and the political and economic reality of the conflicting interests of nation-states on the other. The various paths of state- and nation-building that European countries traversed in the nineteenth century are recognisable in the objectives of government statistics and are reflected in the topics selected for statistical study and in the categories used in the research. Each congress was clearly dominated by the specific interests of the country in which the statisticians convened. The book shows in each case how the organisation of government statistics and national concerns influenced the international agenda. It describes the perceptions, goals and dilemmas of the protagonists and their contact with each other, and in so doing unravels the complex relationships between science, government and society, wherever possible from their point of view. The genesis of international statistics was inspired by a desire for reform. Belgium's pioneering role in the European statistical movement was informed both by its liberal polity and the special status of statistics within it, and by Adolphe Quetelet's key position as an intellectual. The consolidation of the Grand Duchy of Baden, a new medium-sized state in the Rhine Confederation and later in the German Confederation, offered great opportunities for the development of official statistics.

Open Access (free)
Nico Randeraad

There was yet another unintended consequence. Quetelet needed the help of the national state to meet his goal of universal standardisation. For their part, states were devoting all their administrative energy to building the nation: railways, schools, social legislation and statistics contributed to the internal ‘unification’ of the European nation-states. Paradoxically, Quetelet’s goal became less and less achievable as the national state assumed greater control over statistics. The evolution of national statistics was driven forward by a barrage of incentives – a

in States and statistics in the nineteenth century
Torsten Riotte

workers to avoid making mistakes. 8 By the end of this development, the strict liability of the employer became a common feature for occupations in European nation states – hence Ewald's argument that such a transition from individual accountability to social insurance should be understood as the beginning or the origin of modernity. 9 In practical terms, the emergence of the concept of the ‘accident’ meant that employers and

in Progress and pathology
Analysing two arenas over time
Wolfgang Wessels
Andreas Maurer
, and
Jürgen Mittag

‘One’: evolution into what? Fifteen into one? goes beyond a strictly comparative approach of academic curiosity. It deals with the issue of how traditional institutions of the West European nation states are shaped by becoming part of one new and different polity. This issue is of growing relevance as frequent institutional and procedural revisions and amendments of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) have provided the Union’s members with additional rights and obligations. With respect to their history, West European states have – in the last half of the twentieth

in Fifteen into one?
French denaturalisation law on the brink of World War II
Marie Beauchamps

[denationalisation] became a powerful weapon of totalitarian politics, and the constitutional inability of European nation-states to guarantee human rights to those who had lost nationally guaranteed rights, made it possible for the persecuting governments to impose their standard of values even upon their opponents. (Arendt 1968 : 269

in Security/ Mobility
John Narayan

climate change. This is to be explained as the result of growing multipolarity and politicians privileging national over global interests. Habermas (2012) and Beck 124 John Dewey (2013) find the Eurozone crisis to be a political rather than economic problem, which stems from national and European elites perpetuating forms of ‘post-democratic bureaucratic rule’ and the lack of a European identity and public sphere amongst the citizens of European nation states. Bottom-up advocates such as Dryzek (2012) point to the inability of global civil society to achieve

in John Dewey
Racism, immigration and the state
Steve Loyal

economy. The increase in work permits has been one method for reducing wage pressure and so clearly benefits business. However, this narrow economic concern has always been mediated by a restricted notion of Irish nationhood, in which the Irish government expects non-EEA workers to return (voluntarily or otherwise) to their country of origin once their labour is no longer needed. Such a standpoint echoes the restrictive policy of other European nation states and effectively denies the reality of long-term trends in immigration. Despite the differences between those

in The end of Irish history?
Imaginaries, power, connected worlds
Jeremy C.A. Smith

European states. Diplomacy, treaties, alliances and the enlargement of spheres of influence conspicuously formalised the coexistence of modern states. In Europe, nation-​states enshrined active mutual recognition in the Treaty of Westphalia. The Westphalian nation-​states were empires, as well as nation-​states, and they recognised each other as such. Mutual recognition did not negate the competition of empires. Modern inter-​imperial rivalries produced particularly power-​saturated and asymmetrical episodes of inter-​civilisational engagement. The fierce rivalry of

in Debating civilisations