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Rev Synth. 2009;130(4):637-60.

[Emergence, migrations and reduction to routine in the political sciences (17th-19th centuries)].

[Article in French]

Author information

Département de science politique, Université du Québec a Montréal, Case postale 8888, Succursale Centre-Ville, Montréal, Qc H3C 3P8, Canada.


This article explores the paths through which percentage imposed itself in the political sciences. At first used in the financial domain, percentage is incorporated in 1662 by Graunt in the field of studies of mortality; in the beginning of the 19th century it migrates towards studies in population growth, then it migrates to other territories to become a tool of general application. Each migration enters the framework of a new problematic: "the birth of mortality" in one case; "the birth of population" in the other. The recourse to percentages thus appears as one of the elements in the foundation of statistical objectivism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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