Writing the Rules for Europe: Experts, Cartels, International Organizations

by Wolfram Kaiser and Johan Schot

Released: November 2014  - order your copy here


How have Europeans navigated cross-border technology issues over the last 150 years?

Discover the people and institutions who wrote—and re-wrote—technology’s rules of engagement. And understand the processes of how, long before the EU took shape, the work of integrating Europe was well underway.


Five reasons to buy this unique contribution to European history: 

-       The book explores the role of technology in the hidden integration of Europe

-       It examines how a variety of International Organizations competed for making rules for cross-border technology issues

-       It tells fascinating stories about experts involved in developing and negotiating such rules

-       It covers process and infrastructure technologies from steel to railways

-       It challenges traditional histories of European integration – through focusing on the role of technology in long-term perspective


"There have been many studies of European integration, but this richly illustrated and lucidly written book is the first to illuminate the evolution of the Union as a system for managing transnational processes. The result is an epic history of the experts, companies and international organisations that transformed the continent. What emerges is a new and important interpretation: the Union was not born out of the ruins of war in the 'zero hour' of 1945, but is rather the fruit of a deep history that extends back to the technocratic internationalism of the mid-nineteenth century. A landmark book."
- Chris Clark, Cambridge University, UK

"Jean Monnet, Konrad Adenauer, and Paul-Henri Spaak – the names of these and several other statesmen of the postwar era are often cited to explain how and when European integration started. This book offers a very different explanation by highlighting the role that experts and technocrats have played in defining and implementing rules of European governance since the mid-19th century. An innovative interpretation, and a very readable and beautifully illustrated book."

- Kiran Klaus Patel, Maastricht University, Netherlands

"Writing the Rules for Europe is a brilliant book that uses the history of technology as a foundation to make new sense both of European integration and of contemporary European history, and it will be interest to historians of technology and to the larger community of historians interested in European and transnational history. Kaiser and Schot reveal an expansive, fluid, and layered Europe coalescing, from the mid-19th century, through a growing network of new, overlapping European spaces structured by transport, communication, power, and commerce systems that the public eagerly adopted. Yet this was a 'hidden integration,' created within a culture of technocratic internationalism, by international committees, experts, and cartels working behind closed doors. Kaiser and Schot explain how European Community institutions grew from and remained embedded within this culture of technocratic internationalism. They also make clear, however, that it was a Janus-faced culture: on one side it heralded the vision of European integration as a path to peace and prosperity, but on the other side it was a taproot of the democratic deficit that plagues Europe today. Writing the Rules for Europe thus offers a compelling, powerfully argued, and much-needed rethink of the foundations of an integrating Europe, and readers will appreciate its crisp style and rich selection of illustrations."

- Eda Kranakis, University of Ottowa, USA 

Take a look at the table of contents