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The making of a Swiss migration regime: electronic data infrastructures and statistics in the Federal Administration, 1960s–1990s


Espahangizi, Kijan; Mähr, Moritz (2020). The making of a Swiss migration regime: electronic data infrastructures and statistics in the Federal Administration, 1960s–1990s. Journal of Migration History, 6(3):379-404.

Abstract

The article analyses the transformation of Swiss migration statistics through digital data processing in the 1970s and 1980s. It focuses on the emergence of two different modes of migration statistics management within the Swiss federal administration. First, in the early 1970s, the Swiss Federal Aliens Police implemented an electronic database with comprehensive statistics on foreigners, the so-called Central Aliens Register. It was devised as a data-driven instrument for regulating labour supply within the scope of the Western European guest worker regime. Then, in the mid-1980s, the Swiss Federal Statistical Office introduced periodical population scenario analysis. The modelling of future demographic scenarios, based on existing data, shifted the perspective towards a new global migration framework. It is shown how this computerisation of statistical data infrastructures in the 1970s/1980s enabled the combination of different regulatory regimes for population movements within the federal administration (labour/asylum), thus, contributing to the formation of a Swiss migration regime.

Abstract

The article analyses the transformation of Swiss migration statistics through digital data processing in the 1970s and 1980s. It focuses on the emergence of two different modes of migration statistics management within the Swiss federal administration. First, in the early 1970s, the Swiss Federal Aliens Police implemented an electronic database with comprehensive statistics on foreigners, the so-called Central Aliens Register. It was devised as a data-driven instrument for regulating labour supply within the scope of the Western European guest worker regime. Then, in the mid-1980s, the Swiss Federal Statistical Office introduced periodical population scenario analysis. The modelling of future demographic scenarios, based on existing data, shifted the perspective towards a new global migration framework. It is shown how this computerisation of statistical data infrastructures in the 1970s/1980s enabled the combination of different regulatory regimes for population movements within the federal administration (labour/asylum), thus, contributing to the formation of a Swiss migration regime.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of History
Dewey Decimal Classification:900 History
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Demography
Social Sciences & Humanities > Cultural Studies
Social Sciences & Humanities > History
Social Sciences & Humanities > Anthropology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Uncontrolled Keywords:migration regime, Switzerland, statistics, data infrastructures, data-driven policies, public administration, demography, population movements
Language:English
Date:8 October 2020
Deposited On:07 Jun 2021 15:04
Last Modified:18 Dec 2023 08:06
Publisher:Brill
ISSN:2351-9916
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1163/23519924-00603005
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