Article ID: CBB725136358

Local Actions, National Policies and International Knowledge: Family Planning and Statistical Practices in Taiwan (1949–1980s) (2020)


Using an approach based on the sociology of quantification, this article illustrates how actors utilised statistics when importing family planning to Taiwan and exporting their experience to international policy makers. The functions of statistics—producing knowledge and making policies—assisted the implementation of international programmes in Taiwan, where any actions leading to a population decrease were prohibited in the 1950s. The Population Council and Taiwanese officials first secured the provincial government’s tacit consent by claiming the programme to be an experiment in general population policy rather than one focused on the insertion of intra-uterine devices (IUDs). They went on to win the central government’s endorsement in 1964 by presenting IUD insertions as tools for achieving the ideal population size for economic development. Finally, experts packaged and repackaged the Taiwan programme as a success by wielding locally-collected statistics, reframing the programme to fit the conclusions of international research at the time.

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Authors & Contributors
DiMoia, John P.
Ignaciuk, Agata
Aloisio, Mario
Kluchin, Rebecca M.
Raynal, Cécile
Unger, Corinna R.
Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte
East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Medical History
IEEE Annals of the History of Computing
Revue d'Histoire de la Pharmacie
Rutgers University Press
MIT Press
Duke University Press
Family planning
Birth control; contraception; sterilization
Demography; population research
Public health
Women and health
Time Periods
20th century, late
20th century
17th century
18th century
19th century
20th century, early
United States
World Health Organization (WHO)
Population Council

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