Shifts in the focus of population policies: concluding remarks on the XXXV Chaire Quetelet Symposium

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The symposium, “Population Policies in Europe and in North America”, XXXV Chaire Quetelet, Louvain-la-Neuve, 18-20 October 2009, covered a wide range of studies treating major issues on the interface of population trends and policy implications. The studies reported ranged from migration to family issues, labour market and social security but also included theoretical, methodological, ethical and data issues. Also experiences from a host of geographical areas were reported. In this contribution I will not try to summarize the outcomes of the symposium other than to say that the harvest of contributions was very rich and diverse and the conclusion is warranted that the field of policy studies has entered a new and very dynamic phase. Also I will not try to answer the question which scientific innovations were presented and how the symposium managed to advance our insights into the population-policy nexus. It was however very clear that in the field of policy studies a shift is taking place from more descriptive to more analytical studies. Finally I will definitely not try to distill policy recommendations from the diverse sets of studies although in my view at least some of the work that was presented is very relevant to policymakers. In the following I will present a few general observations which result from the presentations and discussions at the symposium.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-26
JournalPopulation Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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