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The Making of Europe's Critical Infrastructure

Common Connections and Shared Vulnerabilities

Editors: Högselius, P., Hommels, A., Kaijser, A., Vleuten, E. van der, van der Vleuten, E. (Eds.)

  • Topic: Critical infrastructure belongs to the most pressing policy issues of the 21st century. Failures in such infrastructure put companies, administrations, and citizens at risk. Because of these new vulnerabilities and risks, Critical Infrastructure has become a major concern for policy makers, companies, NGO's, and scholars in North America, Europe and elsewhere in the world. In the 2000s the E.U. and its Member States have put elaborate Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) programs in place, and critical infrastructure became a field of academic inquiry. Critical Infrastructure Protection today is a leading EU policy domain
  • Historical approach: Presentday policy and academic CI studies tend to take the emergence of infrastructure and its vulnerabilities for granted, or vaguely blame them on 'globalization'. They are in urgent need of historical contextualization. The book studies the emergence and governance of critical infrastructure and its vulnerabilities as a historical process. We show, for the first time, that Europe's presentday infrastructure and its vulnerabilities stem from concrete historical processes, choices, and power games (mainly post194, in which historical agents interpreted, negotiated, and prioritized some infrastructure connections and vulnerabilities at the expense of others. Even the very interpretation of infrastructure as 'risky' or 'reliable' was subject to disagreement, conflict, and historical change. These historical processes frame present day perceptions of critical infrastructure vulnerability. Policy makers and academics need to be aware of this historical legacy in order to transcend it (rather than unknowingly reproducing it)
  • Transnational approach: Prominent critical infrastructure scholars argue that Europe's presentday vulnerabilities reside precisely in their crossborder character. And yet, CI studies have overwhelmingly focused on national infrastructure issues (and to some extent the EU critical infrastructure policy process). They by and large failed to critically examine the transnational dynamics and spatial distribution of infrastructure vulnerabilities: Who was connected in joint vulnerability to whom and why? This book fills the gap
  • Active investigation of Europe: Those CI studies that do address crossborder risks take 'Europe' as a given, which they unreflexively equate with presentday EU territory and governance: They presuppose EU territory as their selfevident unit of analysis, and EU governance as the 'natural' agent to handle such risks. By contrast, this book does not take 'Europe' as a given but actively investigates how the very shaping of 'Europe' entwined with the shaping of critical infrastructure. We link up to new transnational history interpretations of Europe, which avoid interpreting Europe as a teleological integration story that naturally ends with the EU version of European integration. In particular we follow the body of scholarship that studies Europe's 'hidden' (Misa and Schot 200 integration and fragmentation processes in the spheres of science, technology, and enterprise. We inquire how transnational critical infrastructure and its risks produced particular forms of European integration and fragmentation in an openended process, in which EU borders and governance were/are just one out of several options next to other forms of international or decentralized organization
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About this book

Europe's critical infrastructure is a key concern to policymakers, NGOs, companies, and citizens today. A 2006 power line failure in northern Germany closed lights in Portugal in a matter of seconds. Several Russian-Ukrainian gas crises shocked politicians, entrepreneurs, and citizens thousands of kilometers away in Germany, France, and Italy. This book argues that present-day infrastructure vulnerabilities resulted from choices of infrastructure builders in the past. It inquires which, and whose, vulnerabilities they perceived, negotiated, prioritized, and inscribed in Europe's critical infrastructure. It does not take 'Europe' for granted, but actively investigates which countries and peoples were historically connected in joint interdependency, and why. In short, this collection unravels the simultaneous historical shaping of infrastructure, common vulnerabilities, and Europe.

About the authors

Per Högselius is Associate Professor at the Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden. His research has focused on international aspects and in particular East-West relations in the history of science, technology, and environment. Most recently he published Red Gas: Russia and the Origins of European Energy Dependence (2013).
 
Anique Hommels is Associate Professor at the Science, Technology & Society (MUSTS) research group, Maastricht University, the Netherlands. She has previously published Unbuilding Cities: Obduracy in Urban Sociotechnical Change (2005). Her current research focuses on vulnerability in technological cultures, urban disasters, and standardization in emergency communication.
 
Arne Kaijser is Professor of History of Technology at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden. His main research interests concern infrastructure, institutions, and environment in historical perspective. Together with Erik van der Vleuten he edited Networking Europe: Transnational Infrastructures and the shaping of Europe, 1850-2000 (2006). 
 
Erik van der Vleuten is Professor of History of Technology at Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands, and scientific director of the Foundation for the History of Technology (SHT). In 2013-2015 he chaired the Pan-European research network Tensions of Europe: Technology and the Making of Europe. Erik studies the mutual shaping of infrastructure, societal, and environmental changes.

Reviews

“Each chapter presents a wealth of information that sheds fascinating light on a crucial yet understudied field. One learns a lot from delving into the empirically rich chapters that pave the way for future research. … the book deals with a very important yet widely under-researched topic. It is highly relevant for EU scholars working in the fields of energy, telecommunications and air transport, as well as foreign and security policy.” (Peter Slominski, Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 53 (5), 2015)



Table of contents (10 chapters)

  • Europe’s Critical Infrastructure and Its Vulnerabilities — Promises, Problems, Paradoxes

    Vleuten, Erik (et al.)

    Pages 3-19

  • Natural Gas in Cold War Europe: The Making of a Critical Infrastructure

    Hogselius, Per (et al.)

    Pages 27-61

  • Inventing Electrical Europe: Interdependencies, Borders, Vulnerabilities

    Lagendijk, Vincent (et al.)

    Pages 62-101

  • An Uneasy Alliance: Negotiating Infrastructures at the Finnish-Soviet Border

    Michelsen, Karl-Erik

    Pages 108-130

  • Bulgarian Power Relations: The Making of a Balkan Power Hub

    Tchalakov, Ivan (et al.)

    Pages 131-156

Buy this book

eBook $24.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-35873-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $105.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-35872-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $34.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-349-47131-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • This title is currently reprinting. You can pre-order your copy now.
Softcover $34.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-58098-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Making of Europe's Critical Infrastructure
Book Subtitle
Common Connections and Shared Vulnerabilities
Editors
  • P. Högselius
  • A. Hommels
  • A. Kaijser
  • E. van der Vleuten
  • Erik van der Vleuten
Copyright
2013
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-35873-8
DOI
10.1057/9781137358738
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-35872-1
Softcover ISBN
978-1-349-47131-7
Softcover ISBN
978-1-137-58098-6
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VIII, 313
Topics