HomeSurveys in Great Britain, 11th-20th centuries : knowledge and instruments of government

Surveys in Great Britain, 11th-20th centuries : knowledge and instruments of government

Les enquêtes en Grande-Bretagne, XIe-XXe siècle : savoirs et instruments de gouvernement

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Published on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 by Elsa Zotian

Summary

The purpose of this conference, organized by the Groupe de Recherches 3434 Mondes britanniques at the CNRS, is to deepen understanding of the role and operation of surveys as instruments of government in Great Britain as it unfolds over time. This event will bring specialists of Great Britain together with discussion leaders to yield a French or 'continental' view of these instruments.

Announcement

Organization : Fanny Madeline (LAMOP, Paris I), Vincent Denis (IHMC, Paris I et IUF), Philippe Minard (IDHE, Paris 8 et EHESS)

Argument

The purpose of this conference, organized by the ‘Groupe de Recherches 3434 Mondes britanniques ‘ at the CNRS, is to deepen understanding of the role and operation of surveys as instruments of government in Great Britain as it unfolds over time. This event will bring specialists of Great Britain together with discussion leaders to yield a French or 'continental' view of these instruments.

The precociousness of the great Domesday Book survey paves the way for research into the ability of English government to develop surveys as specific ways of collecting information and producing knowledge. Can an English tradition be posited solely on the conditions – such as the continuity of Anglo-Saxon power structures, the organization of social groups and territorial structures, as well as the new intellectual instruments brought by the Normans – that made the conduct of surveys in England possible as early on as the 9th century?

We will examine surveys as objects to the full extent of their diversity (not limited to government public surveys) and their formal and technical evolution, in addition to the people who put them into place. The overarching theme is their use as instruments of government.

During this conference, the implementation process of surveys will be investigated by setting surveys in their political, social, intellectual, and material contexts. Additional focus will be put on the choice of surveyors, the composition of commissions, and the definition of the field of investigation. Attention will also be devoted to material aspects related to the circulation and the networks marshaled to mobilize those involved at various levels (both vertically/hierarchically and horizontally/across the spectrum).

We will also seek to understand how surveys were drawn up. For instance, how was serial data transformed into lists, compilations, books, or other media? What were the modes of publication and updating? What institutions and people were in charge of the process, apart from the actual collection of data? Lastly, we will look into how surveys were used, by comparing original intentions (inventory or assessment, occasional surveys, those designed to be updated regularly, recurrent surveys) with the way in which surveys were actually used. Usages could be multiplied, diverted from, or widened with respect to initial intentions. Reflection may also be devoted to where surveys were archived, to shed light on original intentions as well as on the way in which the institution stored its own information, and the bodies in charge of producing surveys. The use of surveys in the public sphere and their role in political decision-making will also provide insights into how they may be viewed as a favored mode of government in Great Britain since the Middle Ages.

Contributors

  • Edward Higgs, University of Essex
  • Joanna Innes, Oxford
  • Julian Hoppit, University College London
  • David Roffe, Oxford
  • Pierre Karila-Cohen, Rennes 2 et IUF
  • Sandra Raban, Cambridge
  • Kathrin Levitan, William and Mary University, Williamsburg
  • Jacques Carré, Paris 4
  • Jean-Pierre Devroye, Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Steven King, University of Leicester
  • Marie-Noëlle Bourguet, Paris 7-Diderot
  • Marie Dejoux, Paris 1, Lamop, Fondation Thiers
  • Christian Topalov, EHESS
  • Frédéric Moret, Marne-la-Vallée
  • Antoine Savoye, Paris 8
  • Steven Pincus, Yale
  • Steven Baxter, King's College, Londres

Program

Thursday 17th October 2013

9h30: Accueil

9h45: Introduction, Fanny Madeline et Vincent Denis

10h15 : Session 1- Les enquêtes du Domesday Book / Domeday Book inquests

  • David Roffe (University of Sheffield), Domesday: the inquest and the book in perspective
  • Stephen Baxter (King’s College, London), Exon Domesday and the genesis of Domesday Book

Discutant : Jean-Pierre Devroey (Université libre de Bruxelles)

12h déjeuner

13h45 : Session 2- Les enquêtes sociales au XVIIIe siècle / Social Inquiries in the XVIIIth Century

  • Jacques Carré (Université Paris 4), L’enquête au secours de la pauvreté ? David Davies, Frederick Morton Eden et leurs enquêtes (1795-1797)
  • Joanna Innes (Oxford University), Empirical social enquiry in the long eighteenth century

Discutante : Marie-Noëlle Bourguet (Université Paris-Diderot)

15h30: pause

16h: Session 3- Enquêtes et enquêteurs au XIXe siècle / Survey and Surveyors in the XIXth Century

  • Christian Topalov (EHESS), Comment Charles Booth faisait-il enquête ?
  • Frédéric Moret (Université Paris-Est Marne la Vallée), Expertise et engagement : la commission royale de 1833 sur les corporations municipales

Discutant : Antoine Savoye (Université Paris 8)

Friday 18th October 2013

9h15 : Session 4- Les enquêtes royales au XIIe et XIIIe siècle / Royal Inquiries in the XIIth and XIIIth Century

  • Fanny Madeline (LAMOP-Paris 1), Les enquêtes de la monarchie anglaise du Domesday Book aux hundred rolls (1066-1272)
  • Sandra Raban (Trinity hall, Cambridge), The inquiries of Edward I (1272-1307)

Discutante : Marie Dejoux (LAMOP-CNRS, Paris 1)

11h : pause

11h15 : Session 5 : Politiques d’enquête / Survey policies

  • Steven King (University of Leicester), Constructing England : social survey, public inquires and state power 1750s to 1900
  • Julian Hoppit (University College, London), Counting the uncountable or the political arithmetic of smuggling in the British World, 1660-1800

Discutant: Philippe Minard (Université Paris 8 et EHESS)

13h: déjeuner

14h30: Session 6- Le recensement / Census

  • Kathrin Levitan (William & Mary University), An instrument of government? The census and the public sphere in nineteenth-century Britain
  • Edward Higgs (University of Essex), Census and the emergence of a state-business informational complex

Discutant : Pierre Karila-Cohen (Université Rennes 2)

16h30 : fin des travaux

Places

  • Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Salle 638 - 190-192 avenue de France
    Paris, France (75013)

Date(s)

  • Thursday, October 17, 2013
  • Friday, October 18, 2013

Keywords

  • enquêtes, statistiques, recensements, gouvernement, histoire, Grande-Bretagne, Moyen Âge, époque moderne, époque contemporaine, pouvoir

Contact(s)

  • Vincent Denis
    courriel : vjdenis2 [at] yahoo [dot] fr

Information source

  • Vincent Denis
    courriel : vjdenis2 [at] yahoo [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« Surveys in Great Britain, 11th-20th centuries : knowledge and instruments of government », Conference, symposium, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, September 18, 2013, https://calenda.org/258802

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