Historical geography is an active, theoretically-informed and vibrant field of study within modern geography, with strong interdisciplinary connections with the humanities and the social sciences. The SAGE Handbook of Historical Geography provides an international and in-depth overview of the field with chapters that examine the history, present condition and future significance of historical geography in relation to recent developments and current research. The Handbook is in two volumes, divided across nine parts. Volume One includes commentaries on the history and geography of historical geography, and reviews how historical geographers have considered the appropriation, management and representation of landscape, the changing geographies of property, land, money and financial capital, and the demographic, medical and political analysis of the world's growing and mobile population. Volume Two shows how historical geographers have made significant contributions to geopolitical debates about the relationships between nation-states and empires, to environmental challenges posed by human interaction with the natural world, to studies of the cultural, intellectual and political implications of modern science and technology, and to investigations of communicative action, artefacts, performances and representations. The final part reviews the methodological and ethical challenges of historical geography as a publicly engaged research practice. Part 1: Histories and Geographies; Part 2: Land and Landscapes; Part 3: Property and Money; Part 4: Population and Mobility; Part 5: Territory and Geopolitics; Part 6: Environment and Nature; Part 7: Science and Technology; Part 8: Meaning and Communication; and Part 9: Studies in Practice.

Chapter 18: Population, Mobility and Moral Regulation

Population, Mobility and Moral Regulation

Population, mobility and moral regulation
Stephen Legg

Introduction

Populations are living, moving, lusting, mysterious things. They have mortality, but rarely die; they reproduce, but are rarely born; while geographically located they are constantly on the move; and although analysed through charts, algorithms and regressions, they must be understood through particular emotions, whims and desires. Solving the conundrum of populations is a wish as old as that of governance itself. Solutions have ranged from the political (from authoritarian dictatorship to liberal government), spiritual (from national theocracies to individual pastoralism), and economic (from state-directed to laissez-faire economies) to moral claims (the public and political good, religious ethics, the moral economy). The ‘moral’ has also been imagined as a realm in which individual behaviour can ...

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