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Palgrave Macmillan

Building Europe on Expertise

Innovators, Organizers, Networkers

ISBN 9780230308053
Publication Date May 2014
Formats Hardcover 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Making Europe

Focusing on experts in technology and science, Building Europe on Expertise delivers a new reading of European history. The authors show that modern Europe was built by experts using their unique knowledge to shape societies, set political agendas, and establish collaborations which proved decisive in integrating the continent.

Martin Kohlrausch teaches European political history at the KU Leuven, Belgium. His main research interests are the relation of modern politics and mass media and the history of experts in the 20th century. He is preparing an in-depth study on the political and social relevance of modernist architects in Central Europe.

Helmuth Trischler is Head of Research at the Deutsches Museum and teaches modern history and history of technology at Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany. He also serves as director of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society. He has published books on history of science, technology, and innovation, environmental and mobility history.

1. Educating Experts
2. Technical Experts as New National Elites
3. Architectures of Knowledge
4. Expertise with a Cause
5. Faustian Bargains in Totalitarian Europe
6. Experts in Exile
7. Geographies of Cooperation in Nuclear Europe
8. Contesting Europe in Space
9. Experts' Europe from a Bird's-eye View


"A brilliant reinterpretation of how experts' aspirations to realise the potentials of their technology flowed across borders to recreate the meaning of a continent." - Robert Bud, Keeper of Science and Medicine, The Science Museum, London, UK
"A complex process of building Europe has found two authors who are most qualified experts themselves in tracing the rise of expert cultures. Kohlrausch's and Trischler's story of the making of Europe through technology is essential reading for historians of Europe. They throw fresh light on the formation of the European knowledge societies always keeping the political and social dimensions in mind. Readers may follow the experts, from the mid-nineteenth century watershed of the Great Exhibition in 1951 to the late-twentieth century CERN. On the way, the historians reveal the hidden integration of Europe through transnational circulation of knowledge. Theirs is not a simple story of progressive minds and peaceful developments but one in which nationalism and internationalism, competition and cooperation, and total war, authoritarian rule and democracy are inextricably intertwined." - Professor Johannes Paulmann, Director of the Leibniz Institute of European History, Germany
"An outstanding survey of the role of scientific and technological experts in the construction and reconstruction of Europe in the Long Twentieth Century. Through case studies and illustrative examples drawn from a wide range of countries, east and west, the authors skilfully trace the gradual emergence of a trained technical elite tasked with modernizing the nation state, their growing capacity to engineer social systems, seen at its most grotesque in Nazi Germany, and their post-war engagement in the establishment of scientific and technological institutions in the nuclear and space sectors that, notwithstanding false starts and disappointments, serve to exemplify the political will and industrial strength of Europe in the 21st Century. At last we have a much-needed complement to the vast literature on the political and economic integration of Europe that generally ignores the 'hidden integration' undertaken by transnational experts who have built the region's scientific and technological base, and whose achievements have inspired the Lisbon Treaty's vision of a knowledge based economy. Essential reading for historians, political scientists and policy makers." - Professor John Krige, Kranzberg Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
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