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Europe’s Infrastructure Transition

Economy, War, Nature
Europe’s Infrastructure Transition poster

How can infrastructures divide and unite people and places at the same time? How were they beneficial for supplying food, or used for waging wars on scales yet unknown?

Europe's Infrastructure Transition reframes the conflicted story of modern European history by taking material networks as its point of departure. Appealingly, the authors include our natural world as well. You will find out about the priorities set and the choices made in constructing transnational infrastructure connections - within and beyond the continent. Moreover, the book introduces an alternative set of historically-key individuals, organizations, and companies in the making of modern Europe and analyzes roads both taken and ignored.


Per Högselius
Per Högselius Professor

Per Högselius (1973) is Professor at the Division of History of Science and Technology, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm. He holds an MSc degree in Engineering Physics and History of Technology from KTH, a PhD in Innovation Studies from Lund University (Sweden) and a Docent degree (habilitation) in History of Science and Technology from KTH. He has also been a guest researcher at Bocconi University, Milan, and worked as an independent expert for the OECD. His research has focused on East-West relations in the history of science, technology and environment, with an emphasis on telecommunications, nuclear energy, electricity and natural gas – resulting, among other things, in a number of books published by leading academic publishers in Sweden, Germany, Britain and the United States. In Sweden, he is also active as an author of popular history books and technology- and culture-related newspaper essays. For more information feel free to visit: http://www.perhogselius.com

Erik van der Vleuten
Erik van der Vleuten Professor
Erik van der Vleuten is Professor of History of Technology at Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands, and scientific director of the Foundation for the History of Technology SHT. His latest books are Europe’s Infrastructure Transition: Economy, War, Nature (2015, with Per Högselius and Arne Kaijser) and Engineering the Future, Understanding the Past: A Social History of Technology (2017, with Ruth Oldenziel and Mila Davids).

Arne Kaijser
Arne Kaijser Professor
Arne Kaijser is Professor emeritus of History of Technology at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. He was President of SHOT 2009-2010, and has been engaged in the Tensions of Network since its beginning. He has been co-editor of the books Networking Europe: Transnational Infrastructures and the shaping of Europe, 1850-2000 (2006) and The making of Europe´s Critical Infrastructure (2013) and a co-author of Europe’s Infrastructure Transition: Economy, War, Nature (2015).


  • "In a richly-textured and original study, Högselius, van der Vleuten and Kaijser explore how system builders – engineers, officials, and others – made 19th and 20th century Europe. They built transport, energy, communication and other infrastructures. They believed in progress, in economic growth ending forever war, and in their ability to alter nature for the better. The authors show that, despite their bold utopian intentions, the builders encountered political uncertainties, national technical vulnerabilities, and unexpected and severe environmental costs that still have done little to dampen their enthusiasm. This book should be of interest to broad audiences."

    Paul R. Josephson
    Colby College, USA
  • "At once finely detailed and ambitiously synthetic, this work reveals infrastructure as an agent of history. From the first railway tracks of the 1830s to migrants walking those tracks today, changing means of circulation have redefined the meaning of 'Europe.' This brave and persuasive history of infrastructure space will inspire similar studies of other regions."

    Rosalind H Williams
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
  • "A tour de force that marks a new era of Braudelian 'total history.' Probes the material roots of European modernity: the technological systems and networks that undergird today's Europe of integration, circulation, flows, borders, and barriers. Europe's Infrastructure Transition reveals the contradictory human aims that have made these systems powerful agents of historical and environmental change."

    Eda Kranakis
    University of Ottawa, Canada

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