Date of Birth 20 May 1948
Place La Souterraine, France
Nomination April 2011
Field Demography, geography, geopolitics, economics
Most important awards, prizes and academies
Professor of Demography at the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne (from 1988); President of the Population & Avenir association and Director of the journal Population & Avenir; Expert at the Economic and Social Committee (EESC) ; Member of the National Review Board of the population census; Member of the Steering Committee of the Cité nationale d’histoire de l’immigration; Member of the Chancellery of the National Order of Merit; Corresponding member of the Academy of Social Sciences of Mendoza (Argentine Republic); Editorial responsibilities in several scientific journals; Guest speaker in France, Europe and worldwide; Administrator Geographical Society (association of public utility); Member of the Council of the French National Committee of Geography and Chair of its Committee on Population Geography; Vice-President of the Academy of Geopolitics in Paris; President of the International Observatory on Regional Perspectives – Territories of the Future; Chairman of the Scientific Council of the Strategic Society; Knight of the Legion of Honour; Commander of the Order of Merit; Medal of European Merit; Grande Medaille de Vermeil from the City of Paris; Award of the Geography Society.
Summary of scientific research
The scientific activity of Gérard-François Dumont focuses on demographics, but in an open concept of this discipline. In his opinion it should not be limited to the processing of quantitative data, but open to other political, economic, social, and cultural knowledge... to achieve the understanding of many factors explaining the geography of settlement, of contemporary and past population dynamics. The qualitative and quantitative approach is also imperative to analyze the consequences of demographic processes, population projections and to conduct prospective studies. The scientific activity of Gérard-François Dumont has concerned especially three main themes: general demography, political demography and territorial planning. In each of these themes, his scientific contribution is threefold: cognitive, conceptual and methodological.
General demography: Gérard-François Dumont's cognitive contribution in this area concerns the nature, intensity, timing and determinants (close, distant or "far-distant"), according to the territories of the world and the four major demographic processes (transition or post-transition, urbanization, migration, aging). In parallel, since contemporary demographic reality is the result of significant historical underpinnings, Gérard-François Dumont has provided summaries of the demographic history of major world regions. In addition, as any reflection on demographic trends can be elucidated by the history of demographic thought, he has devoted part of his research to analyze the passages relating to population issues in the texts of great authors such as Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Cantillon or Thomas More...
His contributions or methodological developments in general demography concern for example the identification of a typology and a historical hierarchy of factors of international migration, leading to a grid analysis of migratory phenomena applicable to any territory of the world.
Conceptually, his input concerns for example the identification of the differentiated components of the aging process, leading him to put forward the new concept of "gérontocrossaince" or "gérontodécroissance" (words formed from the Greek gérôn or or gérontos, which have now entered the Dictionnaire de Géographie, Paris, Ellipses, 2005), describing the evolution of the migratory flows of the elderly, to distinguish the evolution of structures by age, two phenomena that are not necessarily conjoined according to the different territories and historical periods and to the causes and differentiated consequences. Another example is that the further study of existing concepts, such as attraction and repulsion in international migration, results in the new concept of "entrepreneurial migrations" ("Migrations related to the decisions taken by corporations to migrate their employees to face changes in markets or assets wishing to benefit territories giving them more job satisfaction"), which has also entered the Dictionnaire de Géographie (Paris, Ellipses, 2005). Furthermore, the further examination of the geography of population and of the changes it experiences as a result of migration has led Gérard-François Dumont to examine the concept of identity in several publications.
Political demography: at the cognitive level, Gérard-François Dumont has wanted to study "the interactions between population issues and everything that relates to the city or the state", thus developing a new field, "political demography", of which he has showed the multiple applications in different countries or regions of the world in different historical periods.
His research has led to theoretical, methodological and conceptual contributions, including the book entitled Demographie politique. Les lois de la géopolitique des populations. This book, after stating the method used, presented, as its subtitle suggests, a theory of the geopolitics of populations. This theory can lead to suggest some hypothetical future scenarios. Conceptually, for example, this book and several subsequent publications show how the contemporary period is characterized by a process of "diasporization", with the rising importance of diasporas in international relations.
Territorial planning: faced with the need to understand the differences in population geography and its evolution, Gérard-François Dumont found himself naturally led to further examine spatial planning and land use.
His contributions are first of all cognitive and enrich the scientific literature on several points. The first concerns research leading to territorial assessments not only in major cities, but also in less populated areas which are sometimes less studied (intermediate regional cities, medium-sized towns, non-prefectural cities with an industrial economy...). This research, almost systematically comparative, resorts to the examination and processing of quantitative data, spatial analysis, and territorial policies. As the first cognitive contribution, their results enable us to highlight differing characteristics of territorial governance. As their second contribution, on the one hand they arrive at a critical analysis of certain spatial theories and, on the other, on conclusions useful for land management and environment. A third cognitive contribution addresses the issue of the environment, with the analysis of regional sustainable development. A fourth contribution is a critical analysis, based on concrete territorial examples, of concepts customary within INSEE of "urban area", "urban periphery", "urban unit" or "rural centre". The latter contribution led to proposals to redefine the characteristics of urban and rural territories.
Gérard-François Dumont's publications concerning land use provide a closer look at concepts such as attractiveness and territorial governance. Moreover, they suggest new concepts, i.e. "para-urbanization" ("process leading to the settlement of areas of rural morphology on the periphery of urban areas by people exercising their profession in the city"), a concept introduced in the Dictionnaire de Géographie (Ellipses, 2005), allows the characterization of territories that do not fall under "suburbanization" ("process leading to the settlement of territories situated on the outskirts of cities and consequently being built in continuity with those cities"). Another example is the development of a "composite index of exclusion" which allows to establish a geography of poverty. On three main themes mentioned above, by completing his bibliographical research with a knowledge of the field in some thirty countries from various regions of the world, Gérard-François Dumont has produced analyzes at all geographic scales. His publications therefore are able to cover a city and its neighborhoods, a district or region, or relate to at the national, sub-continental, continental and global scale. They often offer comparisons over time and space.
This is a partial list of 34 books: Géographie urbaine de l’exclusion, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2011; La France en villes, Paris, Sedes, 2010; Géopolitique de l’Europe, Paris, Éditions Sedes, 2009; Populations et territoires de France en 2030, le scénario d’un futur choisi, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2008; Démographie politique. Les lois de la géopolitique des populations, Paris, Ellipses, 2007; Les territoires face au vieillissement en France et en Europe, Paris, Ellipses, 2006; Les populations du monde, Paris, Editions Armand Colin, deuxième édition, 2004; Géographie de la France, Paris, Ellipses, 2002; Francia y los franceses, Madrid, Acento Editorial, 2000; La population de la France, des régions et des Dom-Tom, Paris, Ellipses, 2000; Les racines de l’identité européenne (Préface de José María Gil-Robles, Président du Parlement européen), Paris, Editions Economica, 1999; L’Arc alpin, Histoire et géopolitique d’un espace européen, Paris, Editions Economica, 1999; Les spécificités démographiques des régions et l’aménagement du territoire (Rapport du Conseil Economique et Social), Paris, Editions des journaux officiels, 1996; Les migrations internationales. Les nouvelles logiques migratoires, Paris, Sedes, 1995; Le monde et les hommes. Les grandes évolutions démographiques, Paris, Litec, 1994; L'aménagement du territoire, Paris, Editions d'Organisation, 1994; Démographie. Analyse des populations et démographie économique, Paris, Dunod, 1992; La montée des déséquilibres démographiques (avec la collaboration d’Alfred Sauvy et al.), Paris, Economica, 1984; La France ridée (avec la collaboration de Pierre Chaunu et d’Alfred Sauvy), Paris, Hachette, collection Pluriel, nouvelle édition, 1986; Apprendre l'économie, préface d’Alfred Sauvy, Paris, Economica, 1982. This list should also include some 150 chapters in collective works and over 300 articles published in magazines and several dozens of digital publications. The topics of these writings concern the various scientific activities of G.-F. Dumont in areas such as France, European Union, Russia, Europe, Mediterranean, Maghreb, the Near East, Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, East Asia, North America and Latin America.