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  • © 2016

Europeans Globalizing

Mapping, Exploiting, Exchanging

Palgrave Macmillan

Part of the book series: Making Europe (MAKE)

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Softcover Book USD 29.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 95.00
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About this book

Over the course of 150 years, Europe's protean technologies inspired and underpinned the globalizing ambitions of European nations. This book aims to show how technology mediated European influence in the rest of the world and how this mediation in turn transformed Europeans. Europeans mapped, they exploited, and they exchanged - their interactions ranged from technological and biological genocide to treaties of cooperation and the construction of elaborate colonial infrastructures. Quite aside from the enormous variety of political settings, cultures and colonial programs, interrelations created dependencies on both sides. Cultural transfers were rarely unidirectional, and often a kind of Pidgin-knowledge emerged, a hybrid fusion of European and local knowledge and skills. As observers have rightly pointed out, Europe played both the role of 'Prometheus unbound' and the 'Sorcerer's apprentice'.


  • colonialism
  • Europe
  • european colonialism
  • globalization
  • peace
  • history of science
  • Imperialism
  • peace
  • political history
  • political science
  • politics


“Europeans Globalizing is part of an ambitious research agenda that questions Europe’s history through a transnational history of technology. … the range and scope of the book as well as the thoughtfulness with which the authors discuss their disparate topics are impressive. … the transnational approach provides a refreshing perspective on Europe’s identity and connections to the world. It is a welcome and important contribution to the literature on Europe’s place in the technological Great Divergence.” (Marten Boon, EuropeNow Journal,, April, 2017)

“From guns to railways to maps, from aeroplanes to Club Med, the machines and techniques of the Europeans have travelled the world leaving neither untouched. This admirably multi-continental book, drawing on materials in many languages, is a veritable Great Exhibition of machines and methods in many very different historical contexts.” (David Edgerton, Hans Rausing Professor of the History of Science and Technology, King’s College London, UK)

“Europeans Globalizing is a wonderful addition to the Making Europe series. Taking the theme of technological circulation seriously, it offers a much needed antidote to diffusionist histories of European technology. The authors offer fresh insights into the diverse character of the technological encounters between Europeans and peoples around the world, and show how, in their words, “technology mediated European influence in the rest of the world, and how this mediation in turn transformed Europeans.” This thought-provoking volume is a must for those interested in histories of modern globalization.” (Suzanne M. Moon, Associate Professor, University of Oklahoma, USA, and Editor-in-Chief, Technology and Culture)

Authors and Affiliations

  • DCSA, Bldg VII, Flr 2 Campus Caparica, Univ Nova Lisboa Fac Ciencias e Tecno, Caparica, Portugal

    Maria Paula Diogo

  • Historisches Seminar, Universität Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany

    Dirk van Laak

About the authors

Maria Paula Diogo is Full Professor of History of Technology and Engineering at the Faculty of Science and Technology, New University of Lisbon (FCT/NOVA), Portugal, and member of the Centre for the History of Science and Technology (CIUHCT). She has pioneered the study of Portuguese engineering and engineers in the early 90s and is currently working on engineering and the Portuguese colonial agenda, as well as the role of technology in European history, particularly in peripheral countries. She publishes on a regular basis both nationally and internationally. She is a member of several societies and international research networks.
Dirk van Laak is Full Professor of Contemporary History at the History Department, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany. He has worked on German, European, colonial and global history, as well as the history of technology and intellectual history. He also pioneered the history of infrastructures, and most recently devoted himself to a cultural and everyday history of public works. He has published and (co)edited several books on a wide range of topics.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 29.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 95.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)