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Original scientific paper

The International Statistical Congress (1853-1876) and its Contemporary Reception in Croatia

Nikola Tomašegović orcid id ; Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

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page 199-220

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The aim of this paper is to highlight the historiographically largely negle-cted phenomenon of the International Statistical Congress (1853-1876). The introductory chapter provides an outline of the Congress activities and of the main problems that surfaced while it was being held. The next chapter focuses on the roots of the problems that emerged in the workings of the Congress, traced to an ambiguous relationship between the Enlightenment-based concept of the Congress and the transforming social and political landscape of nine-teenth-century Europe. The ideal of independent science and the utilitarian goals of the participating governments are identified as the main obstruction in the efficient implementation of the Congress resolutions. The final chapter elucidates the Congress discussions concerning the theoretical and methodo-logical foundations of nationality statistics, in which the statistical relationship between language and nationality represents the central problem. The differing approaches to the mentioned problem are interpreted as mainly determined by the specific political contexts of the respective states and empires. Lastly, in an attempt to contribute to the history of knowledge transfers, also presented is Croatian reception and the ways in which Croatian statisticians adopted and adapted the concepts and ideas produced and discussed at the International Statistical Congress.


statistics; International Statistical Congress; Enlightenment; nationality statistics; knowledge transfers; knowledge receptions

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