The Social Sciences of Quantification

51grfwnuinlÀ paraître courant octobre en version papier, l’ouvrgage dirigé par Isabelle Bruno, Florence Jany-Catrice et Béatrice Touchelay, The Social Sciences of Quantification. From Politics of Large Numbers to Target-Driven Policies est d’ores et déjà accessible au format ebook sur le site de Springer.

Présentation : This book details how quantification can serve both as evidence and as an instrument of government, whether when dealing with statistics on employment, occupational health and economic governance, or when developing public management or target-driven policies. In the process, it presents a thought-provoking homage to Alain Desrosières, who pioneered ways to study large numbers and the politics underlying them.

It opens with a summary of Desrosières’s contributions to the field in which several generations of researchers detail how this statistician and historian profoundly influenced them. This tribute, based on personal testimonies, bears witness to the vitality of the school of thought and analytical framework Desrosières initiated. Next, a collection of essays explores the statistical argument in the neoliberal era, examining issues such as counting the homeless in Europe, measuring the performance of public services, and quantifying the effects of public action on the unemployed in France.

The third part details the uses of quantification. It reveals that although statistics are frequently used to the advantage of those in power, they can also play a vital role in challenging and resisting both the conventions underlying the measurements as well as the measurements themselves.Featuring the work of economists, historians, political scientists, sociologists, and statisticians, this title provides readers with a thoughtful look at an influential figure in the history of statistics. It also shows how statistics are used to direct public policy, the degree of conflict that is possible in their production, and the disputes that can develop around their uses.

Citer ce billet
Émilien Ruiz (2016, 21 septembre). The Social Sciences of Quantification. Approches Critiques de la QUAntification. Consulté le 19 mai 2024, à l’adresse

Auteur/autrice : Émilien Ruiz

Professeur assistant au Centre d'histoire de Sciences Po

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