Logistical Power. Infrastructures and State Formation Beyond the Nation State
A workshop organized by the Munich Center for Technology in Society (MCTS), Technical University Munich, and Tema T – Technology and Social Change (TEMAT), Linköping University
Conveners: Felix Mauch (MCTS History of Technology), Silvan Pollozek (MCTS Digital Media Lab) & Fredy Mora Gámez (TEMAT)
In the formation of modern cities and states, logistical infrastructures have become a primary concern of governance. As they organize and monitor the movement of data, energy, goods and many more, they by analogy also redistribute resources and power, regulate services for urban populations, reconfigure administrations and create new knowledge as well as technologies. Moreover,
logistical infrastructures produce their own spatialities by exploiting labor, bypassing national regulations and generating new geographies: from container terminals and fulfillment centers, to logistics cities, offshore islands and special economic zones. These practices and processes of reterritorialization have accordingly spurred heated debates on regulation, taxation, public goods and privacy. But do logistical infrastructures affect statehood and vice versa? And if so, how exactly? Which processes of state formations do they support and which do they prevent? And in which ways are different (non-)state actors involved in the implementation, use and maintenance of logistical infrastructures?
Using the lens of logistical power (Gregson et al. 2017), this workshop aims to focus on the co-production of large-scale logistical infrastructures and state formation which go beyond national frameworks. In order to shed light on the dis/continuities between contemporary and historical modes of channeling, monitoring and controlling flows, we invite papers on contemporary as well as historical case studies of visioning, planning, realizing and regulating logistical infrastructures.
The workshop program can be found here.