Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

Dr Corina Doboș

October - December 2021

Corina Doboș is a researcher and associate lecturer at the University of Bucharest, Romania. Between 2018 and 2020, she was the PI of the project “Crafting Demographic Knowledge in the 20th Century: Population and Development in an Eastern European Periphery", funded by the National Council for Scientific Research in Romania (CNCS-UEFISCDI), dealing with the history of demography in 20th century Romania. In 2016 and 2017 she was awarded postdoctoral grants in Germany (University of Freiburg) and France (EHESS) to study the scientific research in the field of demography across the Iron Curtain.  Her research focuses on the history of population thought, population policies, and the political economy of population in Romania and Central-Eastern Europe.

Research Project at the Kolleg

Socialist Demography in a Globalizing World: Continental Sites of Knowledge Production during the Cold War

My research addresses the formation of a particular body of (demographic) knowledge and of the tools intended to study, assess and answer to the changes occurring in the reproductive behaviour of populations experiencing the accelerated developmental programmes promoted in Central-Eastern Europe by the socialist regimes. Specifically, I investigate different venues of demographic knowledge production in which population researchers and statisticians from Central-Eastern Europe were active from the mid-1960s until the 1980s (INED, France and Population Team, Economic Commision for Europe, UN). I am interested in tracing and problematizing the effects the political and economic projects of integration and cooperation driven by wider globalizing processes (Europeanization and socialist globalization) had over (demographic) knowledge production. My main research question concerns the effects these partial, competing and alternative (socialist and continental) globalizations had on the epistemic content of demography and on its methods of study, proposed by population researchers and statisticians coming from Central-Eastern Europe. My research hypothesis is that the ‘socialist demography’ created by Central and Eastern European population researchers and statisticians in these transnational sites of demographic knowledge production represented an alternative mode of demographic reasoning, forged under the imperatives of socialist globalization(s) on the one hand, and of European integration (especially starting with the 1970s) on the other.

Main Areas of Research

  • biopolitics
  • history of science
  • political economy
  • social history of knowledge

Positions and Memberships

  • researcher at the Research Institute of the University of Bucharest (Social-Sciences Division)
  • associated lecturer at the University of Bucharest
  • associated researcher at CEREFREA Villa Noel, University of Bucharest
  • member of the Society of Romanian Studies (SRS) and of the Association for Slavic, East European, & Eurasian Studies (ASEEES)

Edited volumes

Corina Doboș (ed.), Luciana Jinga, Florin Soare,  Politica pronatalistă a regimului Ceaușescu. O perspectivă comparativă [The pronatalist policy of Ceaușescu Regime. A comparative perspective ] (Iaşi: Ed. Polirom, 2010).

Corina Dobos & Alexandra Ion (eds.), Martor: The Museum of the Romanian Peasant Anthropology Review, 20, 2015, special issue: Bodies/Matter:Narratives of Corporeality

Articles (journals)

Corina Doboș, ‘Disciplining births: population research and politics in communist  Romania’, The History of the Family, 25, no.4 (2020): 599-626.

Corina Doboș, ‘Swinging statistics: population research and political construction in 20th century Romania’, History of Communism in Europe, 9 (2018): 111-138.

Corina Doboș, ‘Between Statistics, Demography, and Monographic Research: GH. Retegan (1916–1998), A(Nother) Sociologist Without A Sociology’, Studia Universitatis Babes-Bolyai Sociologia, 65, no.1 (2020):5-42.

Corina Doboș, ‘ Global Challenges, Local Knowledges: Politics and Expertise at the World Population Conference Bucharest, 1974’, East Central Europe, 45, no.2 (2018): 215-244.

 B. Iacob, Corina Doboș, R. Grosescu, V. Iacob, V. Pașca:  “Introduction to the Special Issue ‘State Socialist Experts In Transnational Perspective. East European Circulation of Knowledge during the Cold War (1950s-1980s)’. East Central Europe, 45, no.2 (2018): 145-159.

Articles (books)

Corina Doboș, ‘ Beyond ideologies: East-European Demographic Experiments across the  Iron Curtain”, in The Social Sciences in the ‘other Europe’since 1945,  edited by Adela Hîncu and Victor Karday (Budapest & New York: CEU University Press, 2018), 332- 361.

Corina Doboș, ‘Whose children? Pronatalist incentives and social categorization in socialist Romania’, in Biopolitics in Central and Eastern Europe in the 20th Century: Fearing the Nation, edited by Barba Klich-Kluczewska,  Joachim von Puttkamer, Immo Rebitsche (forthcoming).


review of Raluca Grosescu, Les communistes dans l’après communisme. Trajectoires de conversion politique de la nomenklatura roumaine après 1989 (Paris: Michel Houdiard Éd.,2012),  in History of Communism in Europe, 3 (2012): 189-194.

review of Vladimir Tismăneanu (ed.), Promises of 1968. Crisis, Illusion and Utopia (Budapest-New York: Central European University Press,2011) in  History of Communism in Europe, 2 (2011): 367-374.