Making Europe

A new history of Europe, provisionally entitled Making Europe: Technology and Transformations 1850–2000, is currently being written and is scheduled for publication by Palgrave Macmillan between 2012 and 2019. Since 2010, a team of renowned historians of Europe, including historians of technology, has assembled the six-volume book series and a series of online accessible virtual exhibits about the key role of technological change in the history of Europe. The first virtual exhibits were launched in the second half of 2011. 

Making Europe comes at an opportune time. Although the future of European integration is a prominent issue on the political agenda, it seems to be restricted to the European Union. This project shows that Europe extends far beyond that, and that European integration was part of society as early as the mid-19th century. Making Europe brings themes such as the circulation of goods, people, energy, ideas, and information between countries to the fore. The idea is that Europe was not shaped exclusively by political treaties, but through day-to-day practices via transnational networks and infrastructures. From this perspective, it is self-evident to study the role of technology in this process; not by focusing on technology itself, but on the societal influence of technical change and the role of companies, consumers, governments, universities, and various international organizations.

Scientists and institutes from 12 European countries and the United States are contributing to the project. Teams of authors are compiling the books, while researchers throughout Europe are searching for data in archives and national literature. Johan Schot (TU/e) and Phil Scranton (Rutgers University, USA) are editing the book series. The richly illustrated series promises to become one of the standard works in the field of European history.

Order the first volumes of the Making Europe series at the Palgrave website

The book series consists of six co-authored volumes:

Consumers, Tinkerers, Rebels: The People Who Shaped Europe (by Ruth Oldenziel and Mikael Hård)

Who wielded the power to shape innovations, from the railway car to the computer? It was consumers and users, claims this first volume of Making Europe. Discover the untold story of user movements: ordinary people who appropriated technologies - and used those technologies to forge Europe in their own image. (December 2013)

Building Europe on Expertise: Innovators, Organizers, Networkers (by Martin Kohlrausch and Helmuth Trischler)

Focusing on experts in technology and science, Building Europe on Expertis delivers a new reading of European history. We see experts shaping societies, setting political agenda, and creating cross-border collaborations. And we discover that experts' unique knowledge was key to uniting - as well as fragmenting - the continent. (March 2014)

Writing the Rules for Europe: Experts, Cartels, International Organizations (by Wolfram Kaiser and Johan Schot)

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. (Winter 2014)

Europe's Infrastructure Transition: Economy, War, Nature (by Per Høgselius, Arne Kaijser and Erik van der Vleuten)

Europe's Infrastructure Transition captures the conflicted story of European integration. We learn of the priorities set, the choices made in constructing infrastructure connections - within and beyond the continent. And we see how Europe's infrastructure both united and divided people and places via economic systems, crises, and wars. (Autumn 2015)

Communicating Europe: Technologies, Information, Events (by Andreas Fickers and Pascal Griset)

Information and communication: These technologies were at the heart of modernity. This book examines the tensions created on a European level by these technologies. Analyzed here are the technologies of economic, political and cultural importance - as well as their meanings over the Long Twentieth Century. (Late 2016)

Europeans Globalizing: Mapping, Exploiting, Exchanging (by Maria Paula Diogo and Dirk van Laak)

Technology was key to European colonialism. Via technology, Europeans mapped non-European territories - and controlled the flow of people and resources, goods and information. Read stories of technologies introduced and creatively adopted. Discover how globalization as we know it differs from what Europeans once intended. (Spring 2016)

Making Europe is an initiative of the Foundation for the History of Technology and has been made possible by support of SNS Reaal Fund, the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS), Eindhoven University of Technology, the European Science Foundation, Next Generation Infrastructures, Philips, and EBN.


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