Historia, Tecnología y Política: los usos políticos de los ferrocarriles en Portugal (1850-1900)

Translated title of the contribution: History, Technology, and Politics: The Political Uses of Railways in Portugal (1850-1900)

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Abstract

In the nineteenth century, Portugal undertook a public works programme, spear-headed by railways, seeking the modernisation of the country. In this paper, I use the approach of technopolitics to study how the implementation of railways in Portugal influenced Portuguese politics and vice-versa. I analyse the interactions between engineers, policymakers, and local caciques, their associations in technopolitical regimes, in different arenas: the parliament, assemblies of experts, inauguration ceremonies, and the media (illustrated press that republished photographs). I show that railways became a powerful tool to pursue other objectives than those originally envisaged by its promoters, namely political goals related with governance, extension of the influence of central government to the periphery, and socio-political affirmation of the engineers. Sources include parliamentary debates, engineering journals, illustrated newspapers, and photography. I aim to contribute to the debate about the relationship between the technological implementation and politics, including rhetoric, material, and iconographic practices.

Translated title of the contributionHistory, Technology, and Politics: The Political Uses of Railways in Portugal (1850-1900)
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)507-543
Number of pages37
JournalHistoria Contemporanea
Volume2022
Issue number69
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022

Keywords

  • Engineering
  • History of Technology
  • Materiality
  • STS
  • Technopolitics

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