Welcome to the Biennial Meeting of the European Society of Historical Demography (ESHD) 21-24 September 2016, Leuven, Belgium


Following the great success of the first conference of the European Society of Historical Demography (ESHD), which took place from 25 to 27 September 2014 in Alghero (Italy), we are pleased to announce the second ESHD conference, which will take place from 21 to 24 September 2016 in Leuven (Belgium).

The first conference succeeded in promoting the exchange of scientific results and cooperation between researchers in the field of European historical demography, and in making universities and research organisations, national governments, European institutions, private enterprises and the wider general public aware of pressing societal issues. A wide range of topics was covered during the first conference. Long-term historical trends were assessed and past and contemporary demographic issues were analyzed, mainly in European countries.

For this second ESHD conference, we will encourage the participants to be innovative! The conference theme, innovating historical demography: the world and Europe, is aligned with this objective. The two core objectives of the conference are conceptualized: firstly, to highlight the importance of robust methodological and theoretical approaches in the comparative (e.g. regional, temporal and categorical) research framework, and secondly, to promote a better understanding of new quantitative and qualitative research methods. Such approach can shed light on the socio-demographic behavior which takes place in the context of concurrent, interacting processes, including labor market decisions, social mobility, migration, biological and genetic factors. The still unexplored interactions between these processes require novel models that can account for the complex spatial and temporal structure, handle incomplete data, and allow for sensitivity assessment, while remaining computationally feasible. In order to achieve these conference objectives, three thematic and one methodological plenaries are planned during the conference.

In line with the conference theme, we support perspectives that integrate sociological factors, economic conditions, cultural and technological control and, where possible, genetic variation. We particularly welcome papers which use and develop innovative methods to manage and exploit complex data at the individual level that run over long periods of time, and to demonstrate the links between past, present and future demographic behavior. We also welcome papers which use new or existing data sources to investigate topics of historic and contemporary relevance such as economic and social inequality, household formation and dissolution, healthy aging and longevity, mobility, migration and urbanization, climate conditions, gender equality, and measures of well-being. This conference will be open to all proposals of a good quality which fall within a broad range of these themes covering different historical periods, regardless of study disciplines.