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Documenting Individual Identity: The Development of State Practices in the Modern World

Overview

This book addresses one of the least studied yet most pervasive aspects of modern life -- the techniques and mechanisms by which official agencies certify individual identity. From passports and identity cards to labor registration and alien documentation, from fingerprinting to much-debated contemporary issues such as DNA-typing, body surveillance, and the catastrophic results of colonial-era identity documentation in postcolonial Rwanda, Documenting Individual Identity offers the most comprehensive historical ...
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Overview

This book addresses one of the least studied yet most pervasive aspects of modern life -- the techniques and mechanisms by which official agencies certify individual identity. From passports and identity cards to labor registration and alien documentation, from fingerprinting to much-debated contemporary issues such as DNA-typing, body surveillance, and the catastrophic results of colonial-era identity documentation in postcolonial Rwanda, Documenting Individual Identity offers the most comprehensive historical overview of this fascinating topic ever published.

The nineteen essays in this volume represent the collaborative effort of historians, sociologists, historians of science, political scientists, economists, and specialists in international relations. Together they cover a period from the emergence of systematic practices of written identification in early modern Europe through to the present day, and a geographic range that includes Europe, the former Soviet Union, North and South America, and Africa. While the book is attuned to the nefarious possibilities of states' increasing capacity to identify individuals, it recognizes that these same techniques also certify citizens' eligibility for significant positive rights, such as welfare benefits and voting.

Unprecedented in subject and scope, Documenting Individual Identity promises to shape a whole new field of research that crosses disciplinary boundaries and is of broad public and academic significance. In addition to the editors, the contributors are Jon Agar, Peter Becker, Andreas Fahrmeier, Marc Garcelon, Andrea Geselle, Valentin Groebner, Anne M. Joseph, Martine Kaluszuynski, Timothy Longman, Leo Lucassen, David Lyon, Gary T. Marx, Gerard Noiriel, Kristin Ruggiero, Pamela Sankar, Charles Steinwedel, and Dita Vogel.

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Editorial Reviews

The Guardian - Steven Poole
This collection of essays examines the ways in which official agencies have sought to certify the identities of individuals throughout history, from the development of paper bureaucracy in Renaissance Italy and France and the subsequent invention of national citizenship, to the census and the development of police practices including warrants and fingerprinting. Intriguing points abound.
American Journal of Sociology - Barbara Cruikshank
The essays are uniformly rigorous, well-written, and fascinating.
From the Publisher
"This collection of essays examines the ways in which official agencies have sought to certify the identities of individuals throughout history, from the development of paper bureaucracy in Renaissance Italy and France and the subsequent invention of national citizenship, to the census and the development of police practices including warrants and fingerprinting. Intriguing points abound."—Steven Poole, The Guardian

"The essays are uniformly rigorous, well-written, and fascinating."—Barbara Cruikshank, American Journal of Sociology

American Journal of Sociology
The essays are uniformly rigorous, well-written, and fascinating.
— Barbara Cruikshank
The Guardian
This collection of essays examines the ways in which official agencies have sought to certify the identities of individuals throughout history, from the development of paper bureaucracy in Renaissance Italy and France and the subsequent invention of national citizenship, to the census and the development of police practices including warrants and fingerprinting. Intriguing points abound.
— Steven Poole
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691009117
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 12/3/2001
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.42 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Jane Caplan and John Torpey 1
Pt. 1 Creating Apparatuses of Identification 13
1 Describing the Person, Reading the Signs in Late Medieval and Renaissance Europe: Identity Papers, Vested Figures, and the Limits of Identification, 1400-1600 15
2 The Identification of the Citizen: The Birth of Republican Civil Status in France 28
3 "This or That Particular Person": Protocols of Identification in Nineteenth-Century Europe 49
4 Making Social Groups, One Person at a Time: The Identification of Individual by Estate, Religious Confession, and Ethnicity in Late Imperial Russia 67
5 Colonizing the Subject: The Genealogy and Legacy of the Soviet Internal Passport 83
6 Modern Horrors: British Identity and Identity Cards 101
Pt. 2 Identification Practices and Policing 121
7 Republican Identity: Bertillonage as Government Technique 123
8 The Standardized Gaze: The Standardization of the Search Warrant in Nineteenth-Century Germany 139
9 Anthropometry, the Police Expert, and the Deptford Murders: The Contested Introduction of Fingerprinting for the Identification of Criminals in Late Victorian and Edwardian Britain 164
10 Fingerprinting and the Argentine Plan for Universal Identification in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries 184
Pt. 3 Identification and Control of Movement 197
11 Domenica Saba Takes to the Road: Origins and Development of a Modern Passport System in Lombardy-Veneto 199
12 Governments and Forgers: Passport in Nineteenth-Century Europe 218
13 A Many-Headed Monster: The Evolution of the Passport System in the Netherlands and Germany in the Long Nineteenth Century 235
14 The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Passport System 256
Pt. 4 Contemporary Issues in Identification 271
15 DNA-Typing: Galton's Eugenic Dream Realized? 273
16 Under My Skin: From Identification Papers to Body Surveillance 291
17 Identity and Anonymity: Some Conceptual Distinctions and Issues for Research 311
18 Identifiying Unauthorized Foreign Workers in the German Labor Market 328
19 Identity Cards, Ethnic Self-Perception, and Genocide in Rwanda 345
Bibliography 359
Notes on Contributors 397
Index 403
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