'To Consolidate Peace'? The International Electro-Technical Community and the Grid for the United States of Europe

Vincent Lagendijk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Why did engineers and policy-makers together argue for a european electricity network? this article shows, first, how ideas of european cooperation were conceived in both circles, and second, how the two came together in an alliance that brought the idea for european grid into the league of nations (lon) and international labour organization. Non-government organizations in the field of electricity acted as intermediary platforms, and close links between some engineers and politicians enabled a next step. It argues furthermore that such an alliance was made possible through a set of shared ideas, stressing technical networks as an extension of international politics, viewing ‘europe’ as an obvious unit of optimization, and relying on a ‘technical’ approach rather than political consultation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-426
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Contemporary History
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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