Who Built Europe?
Is the answer to this - entrepreneurs and engineers? Politicians and scientists? Consumers and activists?

The conclusions to these pertinent questions lay in the Making Europe series edited by Johan Schot and Phil Scranton, Rutgers University, USA, and published by Palgrave.

Winner of the Freeman Award 2014, the Making Europe collection tells the story in six richly illustrated volumes. Covering more than 150 years, this series charts the people and ideas, the goods and technologies that spread between countries – and continents. Making Europe reveals the histories embedded in day-to-day practices from drinking milk to commanding wind power; large-scale infrastructures from the railroads to the internet; and knowledge networks from CERN to the European Space Agency.

As well as series Editor, Johan is the coauthor of volume three: Writing the Rules for Europe: Experts, Cartels and International Organisations.

Reviews for Writing the Rules for Europe:

“There have been many studies of European integration, but this richly illustrated and lucidly written book is the first to illuminate the evolution of the Union as a system for managing transnational processes…A landmark book.” Professor Chris Clark, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, UK 

“Writing the Rules for Europe is a brilliant book that uses the history of technology as a foundation to make new sense both of European integration and contemporary European history…it will be of interest to historians interested in European and transnational history…offer(ing) a compelling, powerfully argued, and much-needed rethink of the foundations of an integrating Europe…readers will appreciate its crisp style and rich selection of illustrations.” Professor Eda Kanakis, University of Ottawa, USA

“Historians who speak of the short twentieth century and have (in their heads) 1914/18 and 1989/90 are confronted with a completely new perspective in this volume: the 20th century was long and it began around 1850. This is true, at least, if one takes in the specific viewpoint of Wolfram, Kaiser and Schot. With a striking consequence, they tell the story of Europe as one of international technocracy. Modern, large-scale infrastructure systems such as railways, telegraphy, and others – goes the argument – have been transforming politics, business and society since the middle of the nineteenth century, as well as the relationships and interconnections between the states of Europe. Technology is not merely reduced to its material dimension in the form of apparatuses, conductors etc, but embedded in its institutional dimension. Technology can neither be viewed independently from national and international regulations and standards, nor from the ideals, ideas, and regulatory models that characterize the design of the technologically imagined ‘long twentieth century’. As authors of European integration, like other authors before them,  they also write against the European Commission’s ‘official’ EU narrative of a European integration history that began after 1945 and essentially sees founding ‘fathers’ such as Jean Monnet. The book “Writing the Rules for Europe” is part of a six-volume series, which aims to illuminate the “hidden integration of Europe”, that is, an integration of Europe that is beyond public perception And for a long time beyond the historical research on the ‘European integration history’. It is precisely this project which has been devoted since the middle of the last decade to a wide range of works, mainly inspired by the history of technology, in the context of the research network “Tensions of Europe”. One of the great strengths of this volume is the systematic evaluation and consistent merging of this work in a coherent overall picture, in order to reach the broadest possible audience. Certainly, one could criticize the fact that the book is more descriptive than analytic and that theoretical interpretations are largely left out. However, this would not do justice to the intention of the authors. On the contrary, it is important to emphasize that rather dry topics such as technology and technocracy are presented in a well understood language and with appealing illustration. The authors succeed in combining their respective technical and political-historical expertise in such a way that the book is indeed suited to reach the widest possible audience.” Translated from HSOZKULT 

Complimentary to the series, a collaboration by science museums from across Europe has produced the European Digital Museum for Science & Technology. Explore the history and stories behind key objects, photos and videos to discover how technology has shaped Europe – and Europe has shaped technology. Visit the digital museum at Inventing Europe.

In March 2017, Schot received an honorary degree from the NOVA University of Lisbon for his work and research in History of Technology relating to Making Europe and Inventing Europe.  He gave a resounding acceptance speech which describes the evolution of the project and its importance to today’s world.

 

 

Copyright © 2017 Johan Schot