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Building Europe on Expertise

Innovators, Organizers, Networkers
Building Europe on Expertise poster

Can expertise be a powerful force that both connects and fragments a continent like Europe? How were experts to cope with the dark side of their work from aligning with Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin to feeding the Cold War?

Focusing on experts in technology and science, Building Europe on Expertise unravels a reading of European history you might not even have considered an option before. It shows that modern Europe was built by experts using their unique knowledge to shape societies, set political agendas, and establish collaborations which proved decisive in integrating the continent. The exciting, unknown and accessible case studies that this book has to offer you are being accompanied by 80 unique illustrations from all parts of Europe.


Martin Kohlrausch
Martin Kohlrausch Professor

Martin Kohlrausch teaches European political history at the KU Leuven, Belgium. His main research interests are the relation of modern politics and mass media and the history of experts in the 20th century. He recently published the monograph ‘Brokers of Modernity. East Central Europe and the Rise of Modernist Architects. 1910-1950’ (Leuven: LUP, 2019).

Helmuth Trischler
Helmuth Trischler Professor

Helmuth Trischler is Head of Research at the Deutsches Museum and teaches modern history and history of technology at Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany. He also serves as director of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society. He has published books on history of science, technology, and innovation, environmental and mobility history. Helmuth Trischler has been involved in a multitude of national and European research programs, including the ESF-sponsored networks Tensions of Europe and Inventing Europe from the beginnings. He has published 6 books, 20 edited volumes, and some 100 articles on social history, history of science and technology, transport history and environmental history.


  • "A brilliant reinterpretation of how experts' aspirations to realise the potentials of their technology flowed across borders to recreate the meaning of a continent."

    Robert Bud
    Keeper of Science and Medicine, The Science Museum, London, UK
  • "An outstanding survey of the role of scientific and technological experts in the construction and reconstruction of Europe in the Long Twentieth Century. At last we have a much-needed complement to the vast literature on the political and economic integration of Europe that generally ignores the hidden integration undertaken by trans-national experts who have built the region's scientific and technological base, and whose achievements have inspired the Lisbon treaty's vision of a knowledge based economy. Essential reading for historians, political scientists and policy makers."

    John Krige
    Kranzberg Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA
  • "A complex process of building Europe has found two authors who are most qualified experts themselves in tracing the rise of expert cultures. Readers may follow the experts, from the mid-nineteenth century watershed of the Great Exhibition in 1951 to the late-twentieth-century CERN. On the way, the historians reveal the hidden integration of Europe through transnational circulation of knowledge. Theirs is not a simple story of progressive minds and peaceful developments but one in which nationalism and internationalism, competition and cooperation, and total war, authoritarian rule and democracy are inextricably intertwined."

    Johannes Paulmann
    Director of the Leibniz Institute of European History, Mainz, Germany

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