A new History of Europe

Tensions of Europe

One of the core missions of the Foundation for the History of Technology is to reveal the crucial role of technology as an agent of change in European history. Therefore, in 1999 the Foundation initiated Tensions of Europe (TOE), an international research network of more than 250 scientists from Europe and the United States. The network is chaired by Johan Schot and Ruth Oldenziel, both professors at Eindhoven University of Technology. The Foundation for the History of Technology is the administrative centre of the network. Its tasks involve organizing inspiring conferences and summer schools, stimulating new international research collaborations, and disseminating the results of TOE research as widely as possible. 

Inventing Europe research program

Between 2000 and 2004, Tensions of Europe researchers developed an intellectual agenda as a common base for future research. The agenda inspired a series of (inter)national research applications and resulted in a large-scale EUROCORES research program called Inventing Europe: Technology and the Making of Europe, 1850 to the Present. The program started in 2007 and was successfully completed in 2010. It consisted of four extensive Collaborative Research Projects (CRPs):

Mediating Consumption and Technology in the Twentieth Century (EUWOL)

The Emergence and Governance of Critical Transnational European Infrastructures (EUROCRIT)

Software for Europe Constructing Europe through Software (SOFT-EU)

A Geographical Information System for the History of the European Integration (1825-2010) (WRR)

In addition, several other Tensions of Europe projects have addressed the Inventing Europe research agenda. More information about the network and its research projects is available at the Tensions of Europe website.

Involving young scholars

n 2006, the Foundation for the History of Technology launched a PhD program with partners in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands, which aimed to involve young scholars from Central and Eastern Europe in the research network and its research. In collaboration with the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) the Karen Johnson Freeze Fellowship Fund was established in 2010 to further stimulate the work of young scholars in these regions.


The research results of the Inventing Europe research program are communicated through books, articles, lectures, exhibitions, and new media. The Technology and European History Series enables (young) scholars to publish their work. In addition, a new history of Europe, entitled Making Europe: Technology and Transformations, 1850-2000will be published in the next few years. The six-volume book series is aimed at a broad scholarly community, ranging from historians, social scientists, and engineers to officials and policy makers, students, and anyone interested in European history. A series of virtual exhibits, the Inventing Europe Virtual Exhibit will open up the results to an even broader audience.