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Demographic Challenges for the 21st Century: A State of the Art in Demography
Edited by: Johan Surkyn, Patrick Deboosere and Jan Van Bavel

In February 2007, a conference entitled ’Demographic Challenges for the 21st Century: A state of the Art in Demography’ was organised at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in honour of Ron Lesthaeghe, who had recently retired from this institution as a professor in demography and social science research methodology. During the 35 years Ron Lesthaeghe worked at the university, he established himself as a passionate researcher in many fields, as a gifted teacher who enthused several generations of students, and as a scholar publishing highly influential work which has changed the face of demography.

This book offers a collection of contributions, presented by friends and colleagues on the occasion of that conference. Therefore it is not a Liber Amicorum that concentrates on personal impressions. Instead, it is inspired by Ron Lesthaeghe’s work and covers many of the fields he was engaged in, together with the research group ’Interface Demography’ which he founded in the late 1980’s. In addition, a tribute from Frans Willekens opens this volume with a brief precis of his academic biography and the significance of his contribution to demography.

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