Jens Ivo Engels: Machtfragen. Aktuelle Entwicklungen und Perspektiven der Infrastrukturgeschichte


The essay deals with the implications of the history of infrastructures on general history. While the history of infrastructures has generally benefited from new developments within the field of technical and environmental history, affirmative approaches towards technical development may still be found even in recent literature. In reviewing several studies on transport and communication infrastructures, as well as on their integrative abilities, the essay comes to the conclusion that the interconnection between infrastructures and power relations has yet to be systemised. A systematic approach should consider three main questions: 1. Do infrastructures increase and intensify power relations? 2. Do they store/retain power relations? 3. Do power relations become evident through planning, construction and sustainment of infrastructures? Considering these questions would firstly draw attention to the analytic potential that source material on infrastructures offers and secondly introduce the history of infrastructures to the core of general history.

The following titles were discussed i.a.:
Roth, R./Schlögel, K. (Hrsg.): Neue Wege in ein neues Europa (52); Szabó, T. (Hrsg.): Die Welt der europäischen Straßen (53); Vleuten, E./Kaijser, A. (Hrsg.): Networking Europe (53); Henrich-Franke, C./Neutsch, C./Thiemeyer, G. (Hrsg.): Internationalismus und Europäische Integration im Vergleich (54); Haefeli, U.: Verkehrspolitik und urbane Mobilität (55); Mauch, C./Zeller, T. (Hrsg.): The World beyond the Windshield (55); Schueler, J.: Materialising Identity (56); Laak, D.: Imperiale Infrastruktur (57); Lagendijk, V.: Electrifying Europe (58); Schipper, F.: Driving Europe (58)

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