Article ID: CBB040735180

Population Geometries of Europe: The Topologies of Data Cubes and Grids (2020)


The political integration of the European Union (EU) is fragile for many reasons, not least the reassertion of nationalism. That said, if we examine specific practices and infrastructures, a more complicated story emerges. We juxtapose the political fragility of the EU in relation to the ongoing formation of data infrastructures in official statistics that take part in postnational enactments of Europe’s populations and territories. We develop this argument by analyzing transformations in how European populations are enacted through new technological infrastructures that seek to integrate national census data in “cubes” of cross-tabulated social topics and spatial “grids” of maps. In doing so, these infrastructures give meaning to what “is” Europe in ways that are both old and new. Through standardization and harmonization of social and geographical spaces, “old” geometries of organizing and mapping populations are deployed along with “new” topological arrangements that mix and fold categories of population. Furthermore, we consider how grids and cubes are generative of methodological topologies by closing the distances or differences between methods and making their data equivalent. By paying attention to these practices and infrastructures, we examine how they enable reconfiguring what is known and imagined as Europe and how it is governed.

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Article Baki Cakici; Evelyn Ruppert; Stephan Scheel (2020) Peopling Europe through Data Practices: Introduction to the Special Issue. Science, Technology, and Human Values (pp. 199-211). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Carvajal Bañados, Yuri
Gunnarsdóttir, Kristrún
Labbé, Morgane
López, Raúl Necochea
Mespoulet, Martine
Rowse, Tim
Histoire & Mesure
Journal of Social History
Science, Technology, and Human Values
Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity
Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte
The Bridge: Journal of the National Academy of Engineering
Institut National d'Études Démographiques
Demography; population research
Census tabulation
Social sciences
Science and society
Technology and society
Time Periods
19th century
21st century
20th century, early
18th century
17th century
20th century
European Union
United States
Soviet Union
United States. Census Bureau

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