Colonial Centres and Peripheries: Low-cost Roads and Portuguese Engineers in the 1950s

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Scholars within the Science and Technology in the European Periphery network have proposed that with technological and scientific peripheries there needs to be a greater emphasis on the history of appropriation, which means considering the receptor environment active, acknowledging the point of view of the receivers and studying this history through its conflicts, i.e. those caused by the different agendas of the actors (political, technical and others). How could this concept be applied in a European periphery, such as Portugal, in its relation, as a centre, to its colonies of Angola and Mozambique? We answer this question by following road engineers from the metropole in their technical missions to these African peripheries, and how they adapted their discourse on traffic engineering and economic development to a discourse on the low cost roads to be built there in the 1950s. By taking this approach we aim to challenge the concept of appropriation and apply it to the mobility realm, also bringing an interpretation of the dynamic relation between centres and peripheries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPeripheral Flows
Subtitle of host publicationA Historical Perspective on Mobilities between Cores and Fringes
EditorsSimone Fari, Massimo Moraglio
Place of PublicationNewcastle upon Tyne
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
Number of pages188
ISBN (Electronic)1-4438-9048-0
ISBN (Print)978-1-4438-9048-9
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • European peripheries
  • Colonial occupation
  • Low cost roads
  • Road engineers
  • Reverse appropriation


Dive into the research topics of 'Colonial Centres and Peripheries: Low-cost Roads and Portuguese Engineers in the 1950s'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this