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The Infrastructural Transformation of Europe, 1850-2000

The Infrastructural Transformation of Europe, 1850-2000

Since the mid-19th century, Europe has gradually been covered by a wide range of overlapping infrastructure systems, most notably for transport, communication, and energy. Jointly these produced an artificial (i.e. human-made) geography of networks, which surpassed the natural geography of Europe.

This project will result in a book, which by studying this transformation process will present a novel, alternative and challenging view of European history. The project will have an unusual character. It will take the form of a major synthesizing effort relying on the outcomes of ten years of European research cooperation in the field of history of technology. Through this earlier research we have assembled a unique material.

The research will combine a system perspective from the history of technology with transnational and European history, taking inspiration from the Annales-schools emphasis on a comprehensive approach and the “longes durée”. The project will investigate the shaping of a European geography of networks and also how the flows through these networks have transformed production systems, warfare and migration patterns and how they have produced a spatial restructuring of Europe affecting not only landscapes but also ‘waterscapes’ and ‘airscapes’.

Project leaders: Professor Arne Kaijser and Per Högselius

Teh project is financed by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond


End: 2013-12-31