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  • 151.
    Avango, Dag
    et al.
    Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    Roberts, Peder
    Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    Resource extraction and sustainable arctic communities2016In: TICCIH bulletin / The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage, ISSN 1605-6647, Vol. 71, p. 12-Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 152.
    Avango, Dag
    et al.
    Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    Roberts, Peder
    Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    Sustainable Communities and the Legacies of Mining in the Nordic Arctic2016Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 153.
    Avango, Dag
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    Roberts, Peder
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    Why history and industrial heritage matter for Arctic communities2013Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 154.
    Avango, Dag
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    Robin, Libby
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    Placing the Anthropocene2014Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 155.
    Avango, Dag
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    Solnes, Sander
    Registrering av kulturminner i Pyramiden: Registrering utfört på oppdrag fra Sysselmannen på Svalbard2013Report (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Detta är en rapport från ett uppdrag vars syfte var att 1) registrere fredete kulturminner och 2) finna och kartfeste faste kulturminner fra før 1946 samt beskrive dem slik de er i dag og prøve å tolke tidligere funksjon. I uppdraget ingick att se närmmere på de teknisk industrielle kulturminnene som ligger i dagen, samt vurdere verdien av tidligere (men ikke fredete) industrielle kulturminner. Uppdraget ble utført av Dag Avango og Sander Solnes i Pyramiden i perioden 21.08-28.08. Rapporten innehåller resultaten av Avangos och Solnes inventering.

  • 156. Baraldi, Enrico
    et al.
    Fors, HjalmarKTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science and Technology.Houltz, AndersKTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science and Technology.
    Taking Place: The spatial contexts of science, technology and business2006Collection (editor) (Other academic)
  • 157.
    Bauer, Petra
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science and Technology.
    Sisters!: Förhållandet mellan politisk handling och estetiska strategier i samtida film2013Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
  • 158.
    Benner, Mats
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History.
    Mot, mot eller vid sidan av samtiden2019In: Teknik i samhällets tjänst: Första hundra åren / [ed] Arne Kaijser, Lars Nilsson, Stockholm: Kungl Ingenjörvetenskapsakademien (IVA) , 2019, p. 122-129Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 159.
    Benner, Mats
    et al.
    Lunds universitet.
    Sörlin, Sverker
    Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    Samverkansuppgiften i ett historiskt och institutionellt perspektiv2015Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Universitet och högskolor (UoH) spelar en viktig roll för Sveriges innovationskraft, konkurrenskraft och attraktionskraft. Sverige satsar i internationell jämförelse stora resurser på utbildning och forskning vid UoH. Samverkan mellan lärosäten å ena sidan och företag, offentliga verksamheter och civilsamhället å andra sidan är avgörande för UoHs effekter på det omgivande samhället. Sådan samverkan är även viktig för kvaliteten i forskning och utbildning vid UoH.

    Regeringen har gett VINNOVA uppdrag, i samråd med Vetenskapsrådet samt forskningsråden Forte och Formas, att utforma metoder och kriterier för bedömning av prestation och kvalitet i lärosätenas samverkan med det omgivande samhället, i termer av relevans och nyttiggörande av forskningsbaserad kunskap.

    Utgångspunkter för arbetet med uppdraget har varit ett brett perspektiv på lärosätenas samverkan och hänsyn till UoHs olika roller och förutsättningar. I arbetet med uppdraget har VINNOVA också valt att definiera samverkan som en interaktiv process som skapar ömsesidig nytta, både för UoH och samverkanspartners.

    Syftet med föreliggande rapport är att sätta samverkan i en större historisk, nationell och institutionell kontext för att förstå hur synen på och arbetet med samverkan har utvecklats vid svenska universitet över tiden.

  • 160. Benner, Mats
    et al.
    Sörlin, Sverker
    Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    Vad vill ministern?2019In: Forskningspolitikk, ISSN 0333-0273, E-ISSN 0805-8210, ISSN 0333-0273, Vol. 42, no 3, p. 20-21Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 161.
    Bergström, Anders
    KTH, Superseded Departments, School of Architecture.
    En svensk gård på romersk grund. Arkitekten Ivar Tengbom och byggnaden för Svenska Institutet i Rom2002In: Humanist vid Medelhavet. Reflektioner och studier samlade med anledning av Svenska Institutets i Rom 75-årsjubileum / [ed] Börje Magnusson, Stockholm: Svenska Institutet i Rom , 2002, p. 402-410Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 162. Bergström, Roger
    et al.
    Sörlin, Sverker
    Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    Danell, Kjell
    von Essen, Hans
    Mörner, Torsten
    Utbildning och forskning2016In: Jaktens historia i Sverige: Vilt – människa – samhälle – kultur, Stockholm: Liber Hermods , 2016, p. 291-300Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 163.
    Berkevall, Mona
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Urban and Regional Studies.
    Partnerskap och processer vid genomförande av kulturprojekt: Fallstudie projekt Litteraturhus Nynäshamn2011Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [sv]

    I detta arbete redovisas en fallstudie från Nynäshamns kommun. En process för Sveriges första litteraturhus med anknytning till orten, genom författare som har levt och verkat i kommunen. Kommunen arbetar för att närma sig Stockholms läns bostads- och arbetsmarknadsregion genom förbättrad infrastruktur. I sin målsättning att attrahera intressegrupper har olika områden identifierats som viktiga. Ett av dessa områden är kultur.

     

    Processen startade med ett initiativ från en invånare och utvecklades till ett samarbete mellan en ideell förening och kommunen, men projektet mötte motstånd. Kommunen har under processens gång beslutat att bygga om och hyra ut en av kommunens fastigheter till den ideella föreningen. Innan ombyggnad kan starta behöver vänföreningen visa att de har den ekonomiska styrkan att driva verksamheten. Med tiden kommer en förfrågan till kommunen från vänföreningen om ett djupare samarbete tillsammans med dem och några ytterligare aktörer för ett litteraturhus. Processen hamnar i en låst situation i väntan på att kommunen ska ta ställning för eller emot ett partnerskap och att detaljplanen ska bli klar för området.

     

    Det insamlade materialet om fallstudien är från åren 2006-2009. I studien framkommer de olika parternas drivkrafter och möjligheter, men även stora problem i processarbetet. För att kunna förbättra framtida processer förs viktig erfarenhet fram i analys och diskussion av intervjuer, dokument och observationer från fallstudien tillsammans med utförd litteraturstudie.

  • 164. Biasillo, R.
    et al.
    Armiero, Marco
    Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    The transformative potential of a disaster: a contextual analysis of the 1882 flood in Verona, Italy2019In: Journal of Historical Geography, ISSN 0305-7488, E-ISSN 1095-8614Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article explores institutional responses to and societal understandings of the 1882 Adige flood in northern Italy, which particularly affected the city of Verona. The article investigates the transformative power of that disaster on a national scale in terms of forest policy and at a city level in terms of water management and urban planning. After the flood, an extensive programme of works aiming to contain and discipline both the river and its adjacent city dwellers coexisted with the launch of forest conservation and reforestation plans. This flood and its recovery phase incorporated and materialized the early Italian state's relationship to the natural world. We interpret the flood as providing an opportunity for redirecting Italy's local and national flood management strategies, triggering an explicit awareness of the interrelation between lowlands and highlands and enhancing modernization processes in many respects. Despite its historical and symbolic relevance, this flood has not yet been fully researched and poses crucial questions about ways of organising and selectively obliterating collective memories of disasters.

  • 165. Biasillo, Roberta
    Amministrare le selve.: I conflitti sull’uso delle risorse boschivedi Terracina in età liberale2018In: Storia Urbana, ISSN 0391-2248, Vol. 27, p. 27-53Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The article explores the forest ecology of the Municipality of Terracina, in thePontine Region, from the Unification to the beginning of the 20th century andhighlights the critical administrative issues and the potentials concerning themanagement of commons.This analysis looks at the forest through the lens of social and institutional conflict,which shows the discrepancy between the national legislative agenda and localgovernance, questions the correspondence between environmental and socialmarginalities, politicises the development of the forest area.This case-study is of particular interest because of the vast area of land at that timeunder customary and communal tenure; the late appearance of widespread phenomenaconnected to forests and the late development of reclamation plans; the impact of thehygienic constraint set by the 1877 Forest Act.The article contestualises and investigates the role of wooded commons from anenvironmental history perspective and relies on administrative records and existingscholarly literature on common lands and forest issue in Central Italy.

  • 166. Biasillo, Roberta
    Dalla montagna alle aree interne.: La marginalizzazione territoriale nella storia d’Italia2018In: Storia e Futuro. Rivista di storia e storiografia on line, Vol. 47Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article analyzes the rising and the evolution of the territorial issues in Italy from the unification, 1861, to nowadays. It focuses on uplands and, specifically, on their relationship with lowlands. The essay reconstructs the dialogue between marginal areas and modernization in Italy addressing the challenges posed to the economic science. This time period articulates in two phases. Through 1960s uplands have experienced a combination of two trends, the gradual enlargement of the deprived rural surface and the progressive geographical shift of degradation and depopulation towards South. Since early 1970s public and scientific understanding of the regional disproportions between mountainous and lowland areas started to question the previous assumptions and open up, possibly, a new positive phase.

  • 167. Biasillo, Roberta
    Progetti digitali a confronto.: Per una storia grafica di Barcellona, Londra e New York2018In: Historia Magistra. Rivista di Storia Critica, Vol. 26, p. 121-123Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 168. Biasillo, Roberta
    TAV. Storia e mito della "grande opera"2019In: Il Lavoro Culturale BlogArticle in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 169.
    Biasillo, Roberta
    et al.
    Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    Armiero, Marco
    Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    Italian eco-narratives.: Paths into the nationalisation of forests2018Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    What if we let Italy talk through its forests? What if we unfold Italian history through its forests? Today’s blog discusses Italian forest narratives and how they may be read.

  • 170.
    Biasillo, Roberta
    et al.
    Università degli Studi di Bari ‘Aldo Moro’, Piazza Umberto I, 1, Bari, BA 70121, Italy.
    Armiero, Marco
    Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    Seeing the nation for the trees: at the frontier of the Italian nineteenth century modernity2018In: Environment and History, ISSN 0967-3407, E-ISSN 1752-7023, Vol. 24, no 4, p. 497-508Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article we analyse the emergence and the transformation of three different socio-natural spaces in a particular historical context – that is, the establishment of a modern state. We explore this issue by researching the relationship between forests and modernisation from Unification in 1861 to the 1890s. Over this period Italy experienced a radical change connected with the state-building process, and forests represented a material place where innovations in social and economic development were tested. Based on three case studies, this article explores how modernity was articulated through urban parks, ironworks, and infrastructures. The three cases speak of both depletion and conservation; they exemplify the patterns through which, in the very making of modernity, Italian society articulated its relationship to nature in an attempt to overcome customary rights and the traditional rural organisation of society. Forests were constructed as socio-ecological spaces reflecting Italy’s contested and heterogeneous modernisation process through which political tensions, social conflicts and economic development theories were inscribed on transformed landscapes.

  • 171. Biasillo, Roberta
    et al.
    Bonan, Giacomo
    I boschi alpini nell’inchiesta Inea sullo spopolamento montano2019In: Via dalla montagna.: ‘Lo spopolamento montano in Italia’ (1932-1938) e la ricerca sull’area friulana di Michele Gortani e Giacomo Pittoni / [ed] C. Lorenzini, A. Fornasin, Udine: Forum Editrice, 2019, 1st, p. 19-31Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [it]

    Questo saggio si propone di analizzare il ruolo assegnato ai boschi e all’economia forestale nell’ambito dell’indagine su Lo spopolamento montano in Italia, avviata sul finire degli anni Venti e pubblicata tra il 1932 e il 1938 a cura del Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche e dell’Istituto nazionale di economia agraria (d’ora in avanti Inea). Si tratta di una fonte tutt’altro che omogenea in materia poiché, pur interessandosi alle zone in cui era concentrata la maggior parte della superficie forestale italiana, le varie parti che compongono l’inchiesta si occupano delle condizioni e dell’utilizzo dei boschi in maniera non sistematica. Nei paragrafi che seguono, dopo aver illustrato brevemente il contesto in cui vennero realizzate le ricerche che confluirono nell’inchiesta, proporremo una breve panoramica sui primi cinque volumi, quelli che corrispondono all’area dell’arco alpino italiano (Inea 1932-1938, voll. I-V). Abbiamo scelto di escludere da questo confronto i due volumi dedicati all’area appenninica non tanto perché non riteniamo utile (o praticabile) un confronto tra montagna alpina e appenninica, quanto perché, a differenza della prima, la seconda è coperta solo parzialmente dall’inchiesta sullo spopolamento montano.

  • 172.
    Biasillo, Roberta
    et al.
    Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    da Silva, Claiton Marcio
    Cultivating Arid Soils in Libya and Brazil during World War Two: The Two-fold War between Colonial and Neo-colonial Experiences2019In: Global Environment, ISSN 1973-3739, E-ISSN 2053-7352, Vol. 12, no 1, p. 154-181Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper compares two schemes of agrarian transformation that occurred during World War Two in Libya and northeast Brazil, undertaken by the Italian fascist regime and US private and governmental officials respectively. Although developing different historical trajectories, these similar efforts aiming to convert desert and semi-arid areas into productive fields intertwined with military services and reflected colonial and post-colonial appropriations in the Global South. The article demonstrates how both Libya and Brazil represented militarised environments and contested spaces well beyond the WW2 timeframe and how the colonial expansion projects that preceded and resulted from WW2 combined military campaigns and mastery over nature. Our analysis builds upon Italian and US primary sources and scholarly publications in environmental history.

  • 173.
    Bienkowska, Dzamila
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), History of Science and Technology.
    Larsen, Katarina
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), History of Science and Technology.
    Sörlin, Sverker
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), History of Science and Technology.
    Public-private innovation: Mediating roles and ICT niches of industrial research institutes2010In: INNOV-MANAG POLICY PRACT, ISSN 1447-9338, Vol. 12, no 2, p. 206-216Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Innovation processes involve diverse sets of organizations including universities, private firms, corporate research labs and public research institutes. Collaborative forms of knowledge production and innovative activity enable actors to reduce risk, specialize, and take advantage of knowledge internal and external to the own organization. This paper discusses interactions and collaborations between public and private sector innovation. This is done through an analysis of semi-public research institutes in Sweden and their roles as arenas for R&D processes involving industry, university and government in terms of funding, research and public-private innovation. Particular attention is paid to technological niches of research institutes and utilization of research findings from collaborative R&D. The results show that institutes occupy specific niches which influence their ways of transferring knowledge. It is argued that diversity among R&D performers as well as funding opportunities is paramount for innovation systems to thrive.

  • 174.
    Blomkvist, Pär
    et al.
    KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.).
    Emanuel, Martin
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology.
    Från nyttofordon till frihetsmaskin: Teknisk och institutionell samevolution kring mopeden i Sverige 1952–752009Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Blomkvist, Pär & Martin Emanuel, From Utility to Freedom: The Co-evolution of Technology and Institutions in the History of the Swedish Moped 1952–75, Division of Industrial Dynamics, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm (Stockholm 2009)

    The first of July 1952, the moped was legislatively excluded from existing restrictions for heavier two-wheeled motorized vehicles. A driver/owner of a “bicycle with auxiliary engine” – this was the original denomination of the vehicle – thus needed no registration, driver’s license or insurance, nor pay any vehicle tax. The legislators did, however, postulate some technical requirements. Besides regulation of the engine, the vehicle should be “bicycle-like” and have pedals. It should thus be driven primarily by means of human, not mechanical, power (i.e., it was not supposed to be a lighter version of a motorcycle). In terms of social and economical goals, the state assumed workers to be the primary users, and a utilitarian use rather than one connected to pleasure and spare time.

    Very quickly, however, the moped lost all resemblance with the ordinary bicycle (except for the pedals). In a new legislation in 1961, the state yielded to the technical development. The moped no longer needed to resemble a bicycle or have pedals. Meanwhile, the moped also became more of a toy for boys – a vehicle for freedom – rather than the useful tool the state had wished for. In fact, we argue that the demands from user groups not foreseen played a crucial role in changing the legal technical requirements of the moped.

    This report treats the co-evolution, technically and institutionally, of the moped during the period 1952–75. Using a method inspired by evolutionary theory, the moped models released in Sweden in these years are grouped in “families” with distinctive technical features and accompanying presumed uses. For understanding how demands of different user groups can alter the “dominant design” of a technology (Abernathy & Utterback, 1978), the concept pair of technical and functional demand specifications are developed. While dominant design may capture conservative features in technological development, our concepts seem to better capture the dynamics in technical and institutional change – the co-evolution of technology and institutions.

     

  • 175.
    Blomkvist, Pär
    et al.
    KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.).
    Nilsson, David
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History.
    On the Need for System Alignment in Large Water Infrastructure: Understanding Infrastructure Dynamics in Nairobi, Kenya2017In: Water Alternatives, ISSN 1965-0175, E-ISSN 1965-0175, Vol. 10, no 2, p. 283-302Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article we contribute to the discussion of infrastructural change in Africa, and explore how a new theoretical perspective may offer a different, more comprehensive and historically informed understanding of the trend towards large water infrastructure in Africa. We examine the socio-technical dynamics of large water infrastructures in Nairobi, Kenya, in a longer historical perspective using two concepts that we call intra-systemic alignment and inter-level alignment. Our theoretical perspective is inspired by Large Technical Systems (LTS) and Multi-Level Perspective (MLP). While inter-level alignment focuses on the process of aligning the technological system at the three levels of niche, regime and landscape, intra-systemic alignment deals with how components within the regime are harmonised and standardised to fit with each other. We pay special attention to intrasystemic alignment between the supply side and the demand side, or as we put it, upstream and downstream components of a system. In narrating the history of water supply in Nairobi, we look at both the upstream (largescale supply) and downstream activities (distribution and payment), and compare the Nairobi case with European history of large infrastructures. We emphasise that regime actors in Nairobi have dealt with the issues of alignment mainly to facilitate and expand upstream activities, while concerning downstream activities they have remained incapable of expanding service and thus integrating the large segment of low-income consumers. We conclude that the present surge of large-scale water investment in Nairobi is the result of sector reforms that enabled the return to a long tradition – a 'Nairobi style' – of upstream investment mainly benefitting the highincome earners. Our proposition is that much more attention needs to be directed at inter-level alignment at the downstream end of the system, to allow the creation of niches aligned to the regime.

  • 176.
    Bohn, Maria
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology.
    Sörlin, Sverker
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    Commentary2013In: The Future of Nature: Documents of Global Change, Yale University Press, 2013, p. 451-453Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 177. Bonan, Giacomo
    et al.
    Armiero, Marco
    Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    The historian, the activist, the ecocritic, and the writer: an undisciplined debate on the Italian environmental history2016In: AREAS-REVISTA INTERNACIONAL DE CIENCIAS SOCIALES, ISSN 0211-6707, no 35, p. 37-45Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is difficult to define what belongs exclusi-vely to Environmental History (EH), and even more what belongs to Italian Environmental History (IEH). This discipline often includes research concerned with different chronological periods, issues, approaches, and methods. This plurality of perspectives reflects the varied and often contrasting labels attached to those studies. This plurality of paths and experiences should not be considered a problem, but an opportunity to overcome the limitations of the current hyperspecialized structuring of research. For this reason, we have chosen to refer to the multidisciplinary area of the environmental humanities as the common ground. On the other hand, we have chosen a new way to present IEH to an international public: the interview and, especially in the last part, the multidisciplinary and hybrid dialogue.

  • 178.
    Bonan, Giacomo
    et al.
    University of Bologna.
    Armiero, Marco
    Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    The historian, the activist, the ecocritic, and the writer: an undisciplined debate on the Italian environmental history/EL HISTORIADOR, EL ACTIVISTA, EL ECOCRÍTICO Y EL ESCRITOR: UN DEBATE INDISCIPLINADO SOBRE LA HISTORIA AMBIENTAL ITALIANA.2016In: Areas, ISSN 0211-6707, Vol. 35, p. 37-45Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is difficult to define what belongs exclusively to Environmental History (EH), and even more what belongs to Italian Environmental History (IEH). This discipline often includes research concerned with different chronological periods, issues, approaches, and methods. This plurality of perspectives reflects the varied and often contrasting labels attached to those studies. This plurality of paths and experiences should not be considered a problem, but an opportunity to overcome the limitations of the current hyperspecialized structuring of research. For this reason, we have chosen to refer to the multidisciplinary area of the environmental humanities as the common ground. On the other hand, we have chosen a new way to present IEH to an international public: the interview and, especially in the last part, the multidisciplinary and hybrid dialogue.

  • 179.
    Braunerhjelm, Pontus
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport and Economics (closed 20110301).
    Helgesson, C.
    The Emergence of a European Biotechnology Cluster: The Case of Medicon Valley2007In: Cluster Genesis: Technology-Based Industrial Development, Oxford University Press , 2007Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter examines the forces that sparked the emergence of a leading European biotechnology cluster - Medicon Valley. This cluster displays one characteristic feature which separates it from most other biotechnology clusters: its geographical location stretches over two countries: parts of Sweden and Denmark. The emergence of the Medicon Valley biotechnology cluster seems to have followed a somewhat different path than the biotech clusters in the United States. Whereas entrepreneurs orchestrated the emergence of clusters in the United States, universities played a crucial role in the Medicon Valley case and entrepreneurs entered - and reinforced - the process in a later stage. The more dynamic and fast growing biotechnology sector in Denmark is argued to be partly policy driven, partly associated with cultural differences.

  • 180.
    Bruno, Karl
    Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    An Experiment in Ethiopia: The Chilalo Agricultural Development Unit and Swedish Development Aid to Haile Selassie’s Ethiopia, 1964–19742017In: Comparativ: Zeitschrift für Globalgeschichte und vergleichende Gesellschaftsforschung, ISSN 0940-3566, Vol. 27, no 2, p. 54-74Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper examines a Swedish-led integrated rural development project, the Chilalo Agricultural Development Unit (CADU) in Ethiopia’s Arussi province. Designed by a group of experts from the Agricultural College of Sweden, CADU was the first significant Swedish attempt at transferring agronomical knowledge to the global South in the context of development aid. It intended to generate socio-economic development through a broad range of efforts, but with the core of the project being agricultural experimentation geared towards increasing small-farm production of cereal crops.

    A defining feature of CADU was that its development and technology transfer strategy came to be deeply connected to techno-scientific traditions at the Agricultural College. This meant that its strategies reflected a Swedish national style of agricultural development that was characterized by strong attention to local agricultural environments but a limited sensitivity toward social factors. The attention to the local contributed to making it one of the few really effective implementations of the Green Revolution technologies in Africa in its time, while the comparative lack of attention to social factors resulted in mixed peasant response and in social inequalities being exacerbated as an effect of the project’s activities. As a result of its focus on poor peasants in the increasingly tense environment of late-imperial Ethiopia, CADU also developed into a politically highly charged project and became an active party in the rural conflicts that preceded the revolution of 1974.

  • 181.
    Bruno, Karl
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science and Technology.
    Dynamics of knowledge production in the Swedish Institute for Surface Chemistry, 1975-20052011Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The Swedish industrial research institutes are research organisations that exist somewhat in between academy and industry, fulfilling an intermediary role as well as providing a space for research relevant to industrial companies, and they have a history of being funded by both state and industry as a way to support technical research in Sweden. The present study examines the history one of these institutes – the Institute for Surface Chemistry – with respect to three dimensions of its knowledge production: the role that basic and applied research has played for the institute, its external connections and the heterogeneity of its knowledge production, and how it has evaluated the quality of its research. The time period considered is 1975-2005, a challenging time for the Swedish institute sector, and the analysis is based on an interpretation of annual reports, research programs and newsletters from the period, as well as on interviews with institute managers and researchers.This work contributes to a wider research field in two respects. First, it provides input to the ongoing debate about how a changing research system is linked to changes in knowledge production. Second, it increases our knowledge of the Swedish industrial research institute sector, something interesting in its own right but that also can provide input to the ongoing policy reorientation vis-à-vis these institutes. The main novelty of the work is that it engagessystematically and historically with changes in knowledge production within an industrial research institute, something not done in previous studies of the sector.

    To briefly summarise the results, applied research gradually becomes more important than basic research at the institute, but basic research still keeps playing a rather large role for some time, even as this roleis downplayed in the official publications. At the same time, the institute becomes more heterogeneous in its knowledge production, associates closer with its industrial partners, and loses some of its independent knowledge production in favour of a more classic intermediary role. During the study period, the institute mainly ascertains the quality of its work through the use of traditional academic standards, and it retains a strong publication culture throughout.Three main conclusions are drawn: that the institute generally has oriented itself more towards its industrial partners; that this is the result of adapting to a situation in which the traditional state funding and political support appear ever more insecure; and that in spite of this general dynamic of adaption, the institute, thanks to a unique knowledge base or strong and well-connected actors, has sometimes been able to defend its preferred modes of knowledge production instead of adapting,something which also has had a notable impact on its development.

  • 182.
    Bruno, Karl
    Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    Exporting Agrarian Expertise: Development Aid at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Its Predecessors, 1950-20092017Report (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 183.
    Bruno, Karl
    Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    När näringslivet styrde diplomatins fokus2018In: UDkuriren, ISSN 0348-1719, no 4, p. 6p. 24-29Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 184.
    Bruno, Karl
    Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    Silvi-kulturella möten: Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet och högre skoglig utbildning i Etiopien 1986–20092017In: Nordic Journal of Educational History, ISSN 2001-7766, E-ISSN 2001-9076, Vol. 4, no 1, p. 29-51Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Artikeln behandlar Sveriges lantbruksuniversitets stöd till uppbyggandet av högre skoglig utbildning i Etiopien, som ägde rum mellan 1986 och 2009 inom ramen för det svensk-etiopiska utvecklingssamarbetet. Med utgångspunkt i ett växande utbildningshistoriskt intresse för gränsöverskridande möten analyseras hur svenska skogsexperter utformade utbildningar och undervisade i nya miljöer. Begreppet ”silvi-kultur” introduceras för att beskriva hur de spänningar som växte fram inom ramen för engagemanget både handlade om hur skogsutbildning bör gå till och om divergerande akademiska och sociala kulturer. Artikeln är strukturerad kring tre slags ”silvi-kulturella möten” som beskriver biståndsprojektets utveckling tematiskt och kronologiskt. Dessa möten används för att visa att skogen som en konkret, fysisk plats var av central betydelse för de svenska experterna, och för att visa hur de svenska insatserna formades av en förförståelse utvecklad inom ramen för en svensk silvi-kultur som bara delvis var kompatibel med förhållanden i Etiopien.

  • 185.
    Bruno, Karl
    Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    The Government's Business?: Swedish Foreign Policy and Commercial Mineral Interests in Liberia, 1955–19802018In: Scandinavian Journal of History, ISSN 0346-8755, E-ISSN 1502-7716, Vol. 43, no 5, p. 624-645Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The engagement of Swedish industry in the Liberian American–Swedish Minerals Company (LAMCO), which mined iron in Liberia between 1963 and 1989, was the largest Swedish commercial investment in Africa during the Cold War. In this paper I investigate how political and administrative actors of the Swedish government conceptualized the link between private and public interests in the context of LAMCO’s operations, and how this shaped Swedish government policy towards the company and Liberia. I identify two phases: a phase of almost unanimous political support for LAMCO and close Swedish–Liberian relations from ca. 1955 to 1965, and a more fragmented phase following 1965, during which LAMCO was increasingly understood as a political liability. My findings show how business interests could figure into Swedish foreign policy during the Cold War, highlighting the coherence with which Swedish industry and government acted in relation to the commercial interests in Liberia before ca. 1965, but also the lack of coherence – between government and industry as well as within the state apparatus – that followed the turn to a more activist policy after the mid-1960s.

  • 186.
    Bruno, Karl
    Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment. 1985.
    The Technopolitics of Swedish Iron Mining in Cold War Liberia, 1950–19902019In: The Extractive Industries and Society, ISSN 2214-790X, E-ISSN 2214-7918Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Earlier research on Cold War resource politics has not focused significantly on the interests of smaller, non-colonial industrialized states. This paper examines the iron mining company LAMCO in Liberia, dominated strategically and operationally by Swedish actors and interests, between the mid-1950s and the late 1980s. It argues that the creation of LAMCO must be understood in the context of the early Cold War and its international politics, and that the enterprise's subsequent development was characterized by a specific technopolitical dynamic resulting from the encounter between the Liberian government's development strategy and the Swedish investors' need to mitigate political risks both in Liberia and at home. The findings help clarify the conditions under which actors from an ostensibly non-aligned and non-colonial country could gain access to minerals in Africa. They also contribute to our understanding of iron mining in Liberian political history, showing how LAMCO developed in close association with particular developmental policies in Liberia that sought to promote national development while simultaneously increasing the power of the Liberian presidency. Though it initially served this purpose successfully, its operations also generated a string of unexpected outcomes that eventually made the company a serious problem for the Liberian government.

  • 187.
    Bruzelius, Nils
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Architecture.
    "near friendly or neutral shores": the deployment of the fleet ballistic missile submarines and US policy towrads Scandinavia, 1957-19632007Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other scientific)
    Abstract [en]

    The Polaris submarine, USS George Washington, went on her first deterrent patrol in November 1960. By that, the US Navy had acquired the capability to deliver a retaliatory attack upon Moscow and other cities in the Soviet Union by means of submarine launched ballistic missiles.

    The basic idea of this dissertation, namely the main thesis, is that there is a connection between the US attention to the defence of Scandinavia and operational needs of the Polaris submarines. A unilateral security guarantee given to Sweden and the Norwegian ship construction programme are two distinct examples of this US attention.

    The Polaris A-1 missile had many technical limitations or “reverse salients” that were corrected in later versions of the missile. Before the engineers could correct the reverse salients, the submarine commanders had to use “tactical adaptations” to make the system work. The first and most obvious of these adaptations was to navigate the submarine to an area from where it was possible to reach the target. The range of the Polaris A-1 missile was 1109 nautical miles. The most suitable launching area from where Moscow, the prime target, and also the five largest cities in the Soviet Union, were within reach was Skagerrak outside the west coast of Sweden.

    The relatively low yield of the warhead, 400 kilotons, necessitated accurate navigation of the submarine. Even such a small miscalculation as one nautical mile in launching position would reduce the effect of an attack significantly. Likewise, all movements of the submarine would increase the divergence of the warheads at the target and because of that reduce system efficiency. Preparing the missile for launch was an elaborate process that took many hours. To keep the submarine hovering at a fixed launching position during long time was difficult. One tactical adaptation that nullified all these problems was to put the submarine at rest on the seabed. Inside Swedish territorial waters, several suitable resting areas could be found.

    The short range of the Polaris missile made its theatre of operations predictable and relatively small. If the Russians were prepared to invest in an airborne patrol, which could engage in hunter-killer missions in conjunction with a Soviet first strike, it might be possible to locate and destroy the submarine after only one of two missiles had, been launched. Such a prospect would reduce the efficacy of Polaris as a deterrent and action to preserve its invulnerability was needed.

    The security guarantee for Sweden was discussed at the National Security Council meeting on April 1, 1960. No motive was given as to why the US should grant Sweden such a guarantee. The Secretary of State, Christian Herter, objected strongly to the suggested guarantee. Later, after he had been informed about the need to protect the Polaris’ safe haven in Skagerrak, Herter concurred to grant Sweden a security guarantee. The existence of a guarantee was unknown to Sweden but it conferred great benefits on the country. The co-operation between Sweden and the US increased.

    In 1960, the Norwegian Parliament decided that a new fleet should be built. The new navy was a US initiative and the US paid half the cost of building fifty new ships. The new fleet was an Anti-Submarine Warfare fleet with a high order of readiness. It was well-suited to protect the Northern entrance to Skagerrak. In the Military Assistance Programme, no authorization existed for any US authority to enter into a costly deal with Norway. NATO Headquarters in Europe had other and lower ambitions for the Norwegian fleet. The dissertation demonstrates one way the US Navy could get the necessary authorization and cover the expenditure for the new fleet.

    The military bureaucracy in Sweden was aware of the Polaris development but paid little attention to it. The intelligence focus was on the Warsaw Pact in the East. The Swedish defence attaché office in Washington never received any questions from Stockholm concerning Polaris submarines and made no inquiries on its own. The only Swedish person that asked questions about Polaris, to my knowledge, was the King and he did so during a luncheon with Admiral Burke. When told detailed information about the deployment of the Polaris submarines on the west coast of Sweden by the spy Stig Wennerström during de-briefing, the military did not believe him. Even the larger question, that the Polaris deployment made Sweden and the Swedish Air Force a target for Soviet counterattacks, was overlooked by Swedish intelligence.

  • 188.
    Brynielsson, Joel
    KTH, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), Theoretical Computer Science, TCS.
    Message from the EISIC 2017 program chair2017Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 189. Börjesson, Karl-Johan
    et al.
    Olofsdotter, Annika
    Rydén, Jessica
    Hur gjorde vi förr i tiden?2008Other (Other academic)
  • 190.
    Cano-Viktorsson, Carlos
    Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment. KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Centres, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Centres, Centre for Sustainable Communications, CESC.
    From Maps to Apps: Tracing the Organizational Responsiveness of an Early Multi-Modal Travel Planning Service2015In: The Journal of urban technology, ISSN 1063-0732, E-ISSN 1466-1853, Vol. 22, no 4, p. 87-101Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    An Internet-based system for informing on multimodal travel planning (several modes of transportation) was introduced in Stockholm, Sweden in October 2000 in the form of a web page called trafiken.nu. The web page has a historical value of being one of the first attempts in Europe, and possibly the world, at providing an ICT-based travel planning service geared towards facilitating sustainable travel to the general public. The aim of this article is to investigate the historical development of trafiken.nu in order to draw lessons on how to better provide for a public information service with a potential for facilitating sustainable travel planning. Findings from the study of trafiken.nu suggest that the organizations behind the service have been slow in adapting to shifting media technology practices on how to provide for information which has affected the uptake of the service. Lessons from the case study provide a basis for arguing that organizations attempting to implement public information services would benefit from finding a means of harnessing collective intelligence in order to provide for a more customizable and responsive service to the general public.

  • 191.
    Cano-Viktorsson, Carlos
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment. KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Centres, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Centres, Centre for Sustainable Communications, CESC.
    From Vision to Transition: Exploring the Potential for Public Information Services to Facilitate Sustainable Urban Transport2014Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Policy initiatives to promote sustainable travel through the use of Internet based public information systems have increased during the last decade. Stockholm, in being one of the first cities in Europe to implement an Internet based service for facilitating sustainable travel is believed to be a good candidate for an analysis of key issues for developing sustainable travel planning services to the public.

    Aim: This thesis investigates the past development of two Stockholm based public information systems and their services in order to draw lessons on how to better provide for a public information service geared towards facilitating  environmentally sustainable travel planning through information and communications technology. The overall goal of the thesis is to contribute to an understanding on how to better design and manage current and future attempts at facilitating sustainable travel planning services based on historical case studies.

    Approach: The thesis draws ideas from the concept of organizational responsiveness – an organization’s ability to listen, understand and respond to demands put to it by its internal and external stakeholders – in order to depict how well or not the two public information systems and their owners have adapted to established norms and values of their surroundings.

    Results: Overall, the findings from the historical case studies suggest that organizations attempting to provide sustainable travel planning to the public need to design and manage their systems in such a way that it responds to shifting demands on how to provide for information. Implementing and embedding new technologies involves complex processes of change both at the micro level – for users and practitioners of the service – and at the meso level for the involved public service organizations themselves. This condition requires a contextualist framework to analyze and understand organizational, contextual and cultural issues involved in the adoption of new technologies and procedures.

    Conclusions: The thesis concludes with a discussion on how the findings from the historical case studies may provide lessons for both current and future attempts at providing public information systems geared towards facilitating environmentally sustainable travel planning to the public. Historical examples and issues concerning collective intelligence and peer to peer based forms of designing, producing and supervising public information services identified throughout the study are looked upon and discussed in terms of their possible role in increasing the potential for public information services to facilitate sustainable urban transport.

  • 192.
    Cano-Viktorsson, Carlos
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment. School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Centres, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Centres, Centre for Sustainable Communications, CESC.
    Traffic Radio as a Precursor to Smart Travel Planning Systems: The Challenge of Organizing “Collective Intelligence”2013In: The Journal of urban technology, ISSN 1063-0732, E-ISSN 1466-1853, Vol. 20, no 4, p. 43-55Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper depicts how a Swedish radio station organized a means of real-time information management to report on local traffic conditions long before the common use of the Internet. Drawing on a history of the Stockholm traffic radio staff the study examines particular conditions for organizing a service that may inform next generations of smart travel planning systems. The author notes how a vision of involving the public together with the use of increasingly mobile and interconnected communication devices provided the service with an opportunity for harnessing collective intelligence. The study highlights critical success factors and barriers for organizing collective  intelligence and the importance they may have had for providing a real-time information service to the public.

  • 193.
    Cederlöf, Gunnel
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    Book review, Alan Mikhail: Water on Sand: Environmental Histories of the Middle East and North Africa2014In: American Historical Review, ISSN 0002-8762, E-ISSN 1937-5239, Vol. 118, no 5, p. 1640-1642Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 194.
    Cederlöf, Gunnel
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    Founding an Empire on India's North-Eastern Frontiers, 1790-1840: Climate, Commerce, Polity2014Book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study is a richly detailed historical work of the unsettled half-century from the 1790s to the 1830s when the British East India Company strove to establish control of the colonial north-eastern frontiers spanning the River Brahmaputra to the Burmese border. It offers a much-needed reframing of regional histories of South Asia away from the subcontinental Indian mainland to the varied social ecologies of Sylhet, Cachar, Manipur, Jaintia, and Khasi hills.As a mercantile corporation, the EIC aimed at getting in command of the millennium-old over-land commercial routes connecting India and China. The study specifically engages with the early nineteenth century explorations of trade across Burma. Simultaneously, the Mughal diwani grant compelled the EIC to govern territory. Drawing on extensive research, the study demonstrates the incompatibility of bureaucratic power, the complex socio-economic networks of authority, and the ever-changing landscapes of the region. In a monsoon climate, where rivers moved and land was inundated for months, any attempt to form a uniform administration tended to clash with hybrid landscapes and waterscapes. This work explores how daily administrative and military practice shaped colonial polities and subject formation.Located at the intersection of colonial, legal, and environmental history, the study is of particular interest for scholars and students in history, political ecology, and anthropology.

    • Reframes the regional history of South Asia away from the subcontinental Indian mainland
    • Located at the intersection of colonial, environmental, and legal history
    • Integrates climate history with socio-political history
    • Brings present-day north-east India into a wider historical and regional analysis
    • Addresses the gap in research on formative years of the British rule
    • Studies lesser-known areas like Cachar, Manipur, Tripura, and Jaintia
  • 195.
    Cederlöf, Gunnel
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences.
    Monsoon Landscapes: Spatial Politics and Mercantile Colonial Practicein India2014In: Rachel Carson Centre Perspectives, ISSN 2190-5088, p. 29-35Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The British were unable to establish control over northeast Bengal due to the region’s climate and ecology, especially its fluid riverine systems. The ephemeral nature of land itself in Northeast Bengal made the region an “ungovernable” space for the British rulers. This “fluid nature” was incompatible with the ruling methods and the land-revenue settlement the East India Company tried to establish.

  • 196.
    Cederlöf, Gunnel
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    Människan och naturen2015In: Historiska Perspektiv: En Introduktion till Historiestudier / [ed] Henrik Ågren, Studentlitteratur AB, 2015, 1, p. 13-33Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Perspektiv på historia

    Historien ser olika ut beroende på vilket perspektiv vi anlägger.Historiker är i allt väsentligt överens om vilka händelser och processer som har ägt rum i det förflutna, men hur de beskrivs eller vad de anses betyda varierar beroende på just perspektiv. Poängen med den här boken är att lyfta fram faktorer och begrepp som är viktiga för att förstå komplicerade sammanhang. Boken innehåller tio kapitel som vart och ett tar upp ett specifikt tema:

    • Människan och naturen
    • Levnadsförhållanden
    • Genus
    • Sociala grupper
    • Teknik och vetenskap
    • Ekonomi
    • Politik och organisering
    • Religion och ideologi
    • Föreställningsvärld
    • Globalhistoria

    I kapitlen blandas abstrakta och översiktliga resonemang med konkreta. På så vis kan läsaren knyta de allmänna och de specifika diskussionerna till varandra och förstå det lilla genom det stora och det stora genom det lilla. Därmed hoppas författarna kunna bidra till förståelsen att historia är något både svårare, djupare,roligare och mer intressant än bara kunskap om enskilda fakta ur det förflutna.

    Boken är främst avsedd för grundutbildningen i historiska ämnen vid universitet och högskolor.

  • 197.
    Cederlöf, Gunnel
    Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    Nature and History: A Symposium on Human-Nature Relations in the Longterm2015Collection (editor) (Refereed)
  • 198.
    Cederlöf, Gunnel
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment. Uppsala University .
    The making of subjects on British India's north-eastern frontier2014Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 199.
    Cederlöf, Gunnel
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    Münter, Ursula
    Satsuka, Shiho
    Introduction2014In: Rachel Carson Perspectives, ISSN 2190-5088, Vol. 3, p. 5-7Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 200.
    Cederlöf, Gunnel
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    Rangarajan, Mahesh
    Ashoka University, India.
    The Problem2015In: Seminar, ISSN 0971-6742, Vol. 672Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    THE twenty-first century has brought concerns about the future of the earth and human-nature relations to centre stage. This has happened in ways that make the environment as a theme ubiquitous in our lives. Leaders of both the industrialized and emerging economies talked across the table on global warming in Copenhagen in 2009 and will do so again in Paris later this year. This is a far cry from the first UN Conference on the Human Environment at Stockholm in September 1972 that was attended by only two heads of government from Sweden (the host) and India. It is also unlikely that any world leader would repeat the words of the late Ronald Reagan that, ‘If you have seen one redwood, you’ve seen them all.’ Today, leaders in polities as diverse as Russia and the US, China and South Africa, vie to win for themselves the tag of being earth friendly, green and caring.

    Needless to add, public rhetoric is not always easy to match with action. All nation states and peoples share the same planet but rarely the views on its future. Stockholm saw a divide between those who claimed population as the problem and others who saw inter-state inequity as a root cause of environmental decay. Today, the same divide assumes a new form. The fulcrum of the world economy is moving from the Atlantic to the Asia-Pacific with countries like India and China emerging as global economic players for the first time in over three centuries. In the last decade, the BRICS countries (still only a fifth of the global Gross World Product) have been the engines of economic expansion. Countries once under imperial domination may differ in many fundamental aspects, but together they share their refusal to pay the environmental costs of other countries’ industrialization. This is the case with Brazil and South Africa, India and China.

    The post-Cold War expansion of economies opens up new opportunities for a better life for many, but also takes forms that deeply strain the web of life and nature’s cycles of renewal and its mechanisms of repair. Richard Tucker’s lucid history of the US impact on the tropics was titled Insatiable Appetite. Rubber and fruits, timber and beef demand in the country that accounted for over 40 per cent of gross wealth product in the mid-20th century (and just under half today) remade the land, water, flora and fauna of the tropics, often in deeply damaging ways. Over eighty years earlier, a prescient Mahatma Gandhi wrote to the left wing Indian advocate of industrialization, Saklatwala, on the larger implications of India following the development path of England. It would, he confidently asserted, strip the earth ‘like a pack of locusts.’ No doubt his words in 1928 ring true, but it is also difficult for any formerly colonized country to ignore the hard reality that political freedom to be meaningful needs the artifices of economic growth to protect and sustain it.

    The fact is that the idea of a path away from an industrial order, though it has many adherents, has rarely won space in the plans of those who rule and seek to guide the destiny of states. Stalin’s dictum that if his country did not catch up it would be reduced to a cipher, has takers in many who find little else attractive in the Soviet dictator. ‘Catch up’ often entails conquering internal frontiers. This has been the leitmotif in Brazil (which saw the Amazon as a frontier), in China (as in the desert and plateau regions) and in Indonesia (where mass resettlement was aimed to unify and weld together its peoples). Surprisingly similar collisions take place at another location of the development spectrum. Internal frontiers and marginal regions are also present in countries like Australia, Canada and Sweden, where extraction of gas, timber and minerals makes few exceptions for landscape damages and local community priorities.

    If the 20th century was about the rivalry of an ascendant American power, with militarism in the first half and state socialism in the latter, there is little doubt that a rising Asia will see more, not less, intensive resource use and higher levels of material development. Will the newly rising powers avoid the kind of resource destructiveness of earlier powers and how far can they moderate their impact without giving in to an upstairs/downstairs world?

    The larger dilemma is how to evolve in ways that lessen or moderate the ecological footprint of peoples and societies. Are there other, better ways to generate wealth in a manner that does not rupture the webs that sustain life? It is a positive sign that debate has moved beyond alarmism and denial to look at why, how and when changes took shape in the past. This is essential for a better future. The past cannot give any easy ‘turn-key’ lessons but can generate insight indispensable for all. We need the long-term view into the past in order for us to find a long-term sustainability into the future.

    Increasingly, this has meant a dialogue across the traditional divide of the humanities and the natural sciences. The complexities of the natural world and human social life demands studies in which we need to understand and connect across the scientific terrain. The interconnection of species and interrelation of the atmosphere and life forms of earth requires an informed analysis of how the knowledge of science mediates human action. The determinism imbued in arguments of how human futures are trapped by nature’s forces needs to be confronted by an understanding of how societies in the past dealt with large-scale disasters, pollution, and waste. Scientists need to integrate complex social analysis into their work. The humanities in turn can gain much by drawing on scientific insights even as they make us sensitive to multiple, often contested, ways of knowing nature. It is not a question of keeping to either of the favoured long-term perspectives into the past – of preferring the emergence of humankind, the agricultural revolution, the introduction of fossil fuels, or the European exploitation of global resources on other continents. We need a multiple vision of time as we understand the challenges of the present. In short, we need to speak across and beyond disciplines.

    This is easier said than done. The planet is one unified ecological entity, a home of life powered by the sun. Yet, it is divided into different nation states. Political borders of nation states (or former empires) by which research is often organized, funded or conducted can scarcely do justice to ever-changing markers across land- and waterscapes. Monsoons, earthquakes, or migrating birds make no exception for such borders. Nor do people. Looking at longer-term trajectories – labour, knowledge, capital, and goods have flowed across landscapes irrespective of politically bounded spaces; they have moved with or against tides and natural ruptures. This has been especially true in recent centuries, periods when the global wealth (the gross world product) doubled (1500-1800) or when it rose fourteen fold (1800-1900).

    But even these changes cannot be seen in isolation in time and space. New historical and archaeological works indicate considerable landscape shaping by use of fire by early hominids, and the colonization of islands, as in the Indian Ocean, even many centuries ago, led to large-scale extinctions of local fauna unable to adapt to new pressures. Not all changes were entirely negative and much of southern Africa and South Asia had extensive grasslands remade by a mix of anthropogenic and natural influences, so much so that it is difficult to draw a line between the two. Even many plant cultivars (yam or cassava or sugarcane) or trees now gone wild (such as neem in mainland India) or animals (such as the grey squirrel in England or the dingo in Australia) spread due to human interventions in history.

    Fluidity is a fact of human history. Economic exchange and human mobility has cut across bounds of empire and nation state. Unsurprisingly, new historical works go a step further and often cut across boundaries of space, time and species in a search for better explanations. Maize, in its march across Africa post-1492, became a major factor in changing more than just nutrition and food habits. The Bay of Bengal unified, not separated, the east coast of India from South East Asia, with migrant labourers remaking lands and waters to create a sense of home. Import of horses across the western Indian Ocean and the central Asian land routes was a major factor in South, Central and West Asian history for centuries, as they were paid for in coin. Domestic animals taken from India for the British forces in the 1890s may have helped the rinderpest virus hop across the waters, leading to a huge dying-off of the wild ungulate herds. On a more prosaic level, the plague virus taken across the Eurasian land mass in the mid-14th century brought demographic collapse in its wake, sparking fears similar to AIDS in the 20th century and ebola in the 21st. Mosquitoes and the diseases they spread played a greater role in 18th and 19th century wars in the Americas than those in battle may have suspected. And the potato and its spread helped revolutionize agriculture across much of Europe and Asia in more ways than any one might have imagined in its native home in the Andes. Plants and pathogens, succulent tubers and sturdy mounts, shade giving trees and edible feral animals, are all part of our connected and ever changing history.

    The flow of commodities and cultural contact has had deep impact on the ecosystems of the earth in ways often little realized. The markets for opium in China, integral to Pax Britannica in the triangular trade, powered the transformation of fields in Malwa and market places of Bombay. Rubber making a trans-oceanic trip from its native home in Brazil was part of Britain’s struggle for empire.

    In another era, much of the Mughal power was built on its ability to be the hinge between Monsoon India, with the rice paddies and densely settled people and Arid India, with wide open spaces and herds of horses and cattle. The Mughal, Safavid, Ottoman and the Ming/Manchu empires in the 16th and 17th centuries accounted not only for a disproportionate share of the world’s wealth, they generated enormous demand for resources from afar. Jahangir’s court in Agra (1608-28) brought in narwhal whale ivory from the Arctic, goshawks for hunts from Europe, horses from central and West Asia and shatoosh wool from the cold plateau of Tibet. Estimates of China and India’s share of the global wealth in 1700 place it at 55 per cent.

    There is still little doubt that the era of European dominance, based as it was on maritime power and control of sea routes and powered by merchant capital, was qualitatively different from many earlier land based empires. There was no one Vasco da Gama moment when dominance was established, but there is little doubt that between the late 18th and the mid-19th century, there was a decisive shift of power.

    Two large ecological changes signified this: the hunting down of Africa’s elephants for ivory to make piano keys in Europe and the diminution of the great whales by steam powered ships with harpoons for whale oil. Less noticeable, but presciently pointed out by a pioneering environmentally minded economic historian Malcolm Caldwell in his The Wealth of Some Nations, were two other developments. The British built the first coal fired empire in history and yet, even before its collapse, there was a qualitatively new power in place. This was the United States which had few direct colonial possessions but relied on economic and military power over other states. More important, its main fuel source was oil and gas. At the end of WW2, the US accounted for 45 per cent of the gross world product.

    Yet, as is often the case, empires not only exploited resources, natural and human; they also created controls, often for self-interest. Trautmann’s recent work argues that elephants as a source of war animals were part of a four-cornered relationship in early India – between kings, forest peoples, other peoples and the elephants. Though this was most pronounced in India by the 3rd century BCE, there were similar trends at work in other Asian societies. More recently, it has been argued that early European island colonies were in favour of controls on land, water and forest use lest changes in the water cycle lead to dearth and disorder. The US, in its ascent to global power from the 1890s to the 1940s, took steps to alleviate overuse of vital strategic resources. The creation of the Forest Service (1900s) and the National Parks (1876), and even earlier, the protection of the bison (or American buffalo) and the treaties to protect migratory birds in the Americas were steps in this direction. In Bolshevik Russia, the early post-revolution years saw Lenin sign a law for protecting rare fauna in 1919. Within a decade, Africa had its first parks in the Virungas (Congo) and Kruger (South Africa) and India soon followed in 1935 with Hailey, now Corbett Park.

    The relationship of power to exploitation and protection was both complex and multilayered. New works show how many parks from America to Africa rested on assertion of dominance over nature by white settler states over resident peoples. Often saving nature also meant the obliteration of rival livelihoods and cultures, a process that finds echoes in the still intense conflicts and contests over access and control. What is important is the deeper historical process that underlies not only conflict zones but also often circumscribes the kinds of cooperation that are workable or practical.

    One consequence of the dialogue of the historical and ecological disciplines is that geography and history are once again on speaking terms. The new awareness that we live on one planet is graphically captured in the iconic photo from Apollo Seven of a green blue planet against the darkness of space. It is also evident in ways in which even specific focused studies in anthropology and history, ecology and planning, now draw links to the rhythms of nature, and the complex ways they are tied in with the consequences of human action. El Niño, first studied in the late 19th century, is now seen in conjunction with other climatic patterns as well as the changing ways in which societies adapted to them. New knowledge that brings geological time frames into contact with historical transitions in the human pasts throws fresh light on well known historical events. Geoffrey Parker argues how the two decades after 1640, a time of immense turmoil in the Mughal Empire, was also the driest spell in a thousand years, thereby connecting dearth and unrest. Richard Grove points to an extreme climatic anomaly in the late 18th century. Peaks of famine mortality coincided with the most severe and prolonged El Niño events of the last millennium. Yet alternations of dry and wet spells or of hot and cold years of the past now have an added dimension, the distinct impress of human actions that may precipitate irreversible change.

    Climate change due to changing greenhouse gas levels, though first debated in 1851, today evokes wider concern and debate. So too does specie extinction, known widely since the cases of the Dodo in Mauritius or the Moa in New Zealand, but probably now taking place on a larger scale than since the five great prehistoric extinctions. The larger impact of the extensive extraction of fossil fuels, of redirecting river courses, cutting channels across isthmuses, of petrochemical production and use – all these and more raise afresh an old question. Will human ingenuity and adaptability (including conservation and environmental repair) prove equal to the task? And a larger issue: are these mere small holes in the wider fabric of nature or a tearing apart of the web that sustains life and ecological systems as we know them?

    Given the rapid escalation and global scale of human induced environmental change, we need analyses viewed in the deep-time perspective. What aspects of our present times are unique and what are common to the human-nature entanglement across ages? Arguments for a return to earlier golden age landscapes, arguably with ecosystems in balance, are now more difficult to find. Human life has always made an imprint on landscapes; ancient societies too could cause large-scale landscape change. Pollen and fossil charcoal analyses in the Kruger and Limpopo National Parks show how human induced fires can have both positive and negative impacts on the changes between savannah and forest cover, depending on the vegetational phase. Similarly, in contrast to today’s wildfires occurring late in the dry season, the burning of lands prior to European settlement in northern Australia was carried out for a great many purposes. Ethnographic sources and diaries show that these happened early in the dry season and contributed to a heterogeneous habitat, favouring some tree species and reducing others, including the animals that fed from them.

    Forests were not only wiped out by the onslaught of human extraction for timber, woodlands also regrew. Croplands of millets and maize, wheat or rice sustained not only humans but also a range of taxa such as birds and insects, small mammals and reptiles. New research suggests far more complex human-nature relations than the simple model of degradation through the process of development.

    Similarly, the deep-rooted misconception that, in former days, people tended to stay in one place – that mobility was the exception and settlement the norm – has been empirically disproved. Or, shall we say, historians have learned to listen more to archaeologists. People move and, with them, also knowledge, goods, plants, habits, disease and any other aspect of human society. Conventional perceptions of societies expanding uphill from the settled lowlands are now confronted by new research on hill-based polities expanding downhill – as from the Himalayan plateau into northern Indian foothills, to form significant polities. The movement of cattle, livelihood patterns, or farming practices alter ecosystems. On larger scales – in marine, savannah, or forest ecologies – they may be disturbed and significantly changed.

    The rapid flux of capital investment has passed like a scythe through Brazilian forests, Nigerian oil fields, and South Asian mineral reserves. Such global flows are susceptible to complex influences, at times causing unexpected consequences. Opportunities for mineral extraction in the Arctic have generated expectations of large untapped oil resources, resulting in researchers and activists sounding the alarm and producing informed responses about environmental effects. But, with shale oil reserves in the US now being tapped and the Gulf countries more willing to tolerate lower selling prices of oil, extraction in the Arctic suddenly looks far less promising as capital moves away.

    The deeply interlinked ecologies of water and land make it clear that rivers are as much about water as about sand. Massive amounts of sand and silt are annually spread across surrounding lands, adding fertile soil or destructive sand. Over millennia, flora, fauna and human life have adjusted. The modern infrastructure of canals and dams can barely contain such monsoonal ecologies. Added to this is the industrial and household sewage that causes the death of river courses as the Yangtze and Ganga, Yamuna and Mekong, Irrawaddy and Indus.

    This issue of Seminar cannot answer these large issues but can help pose them in new, better, more insightful ways. Some authors address the need for long-term, deep history in order to understand critical environmental issues that are relevant today. Others are located in a specific moment in historical and ecological time, but place it in a larger perspective. What do we really mean by words like collapse and how unique is the day and age we live in? There is a less well known trope of human adaptation and recovery from adversity and it is worth asking how far it is useful to reflect on and learn from.

    In a recent dialogue of regional specialists, Peter Perdue, a leading China scholar, was reluctant to view environmental crises as irreversible and pointed to longer-term cycles of recovery as in the case of shifts of capitals and populations and adoption of new crops and practices. Related to this is the idea of vulnerability: is it planet wide or species specific, and can we historicize it to make it more amenable to action or meaningful thought?

    There are certain larger, secular trends that are planetary in nature. Recent decades have seen mounting evidence of the human role in climate change, not merely via the carbon cycle but other related modes of global warming, often related to the long Industrial Revolution since the late 19th century. Less spectacular, but equally critical, is the decline of species across the world’s oceans and in a host of terrestrial landscapes, prompting some to compare the scale of human driven extinction to the die offs of the past, as at the end of Triassic era. A third issue which rarely figures today but loomed large in the 1980s – the impact of possible nuclear war on the global ecological system. Whichever way one looks at these mega trends, climate change, species die out and nuclear threats, the reality is these require careful and rigorous thought.

    Writing in 1962 in a book that would not only warn about the threat of petrochemical contamination, Rachel Carson declaimed about ‘the obligation to endure the right to know.’ She was referring to the pesticides which have, as she said, silenced the voices of birds that heralded the spring in America. Incidentally, Carson never called for a ban on chemicals. As a leading marine biologist, she argued against reductionism and favoured a holistic approach. Our aims here are more modest than hers. The small crew of scholars and practitioners here is drawn from different countries, disciplines and schools of thought. But they share with Carson a willingness to begin with the particular and draw links to the larger general insight in the long view of time.

    We do hope the dialogue of ecology, the science of life and of history, the study of human pasts and presents will be productive. The structure and functions of nature in a simple material sense can no more be viewed in isolation from human actions. In turn, the latter increasingly hinge on not just how we achieve peace with one another but establish the lineament of a peace with nature.

    GUNNEL CEDERLÖF and MAHESH RANGARAJAN

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