Along a mountainous stretch of Peruvian highway, the anthropologists Penny Harvey and Hannah Knox recount a conversation between highway engineers and their hotel caretaker that illustrates a needed shift in direction for the ethnography of roads and other infrastructures of transportation. In Roads: An Anthropology of Infrastructure and Expertise, the two anthropologists convey the hotel caretaker’s concern that inexplicable and uncontrollable forces govern local mountains and sometimes claim the lives of drivers crossing high passes. “Even this house is haunted by ghosts,” she tells the engineers, who are staying with her as they conduct surveys to upgrade the highway. Are they aware of these forces, she wants to know, and do they believe in ghosts? The engineers laugh, and one speaks for the others when he says that no, he doesn’t believe in ghosts, but he does believe in mathematics.
Caritas Luxembourg and Norry Schneider
The first version of the declaration (“Outcome Document”) for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or ”Rio+20”), the “Zero Draft”, was released by the UNCSD Secretariat in January 2012. The 19-page document is based on a compilation of inputs received from United Nations (UN) member States and other stakeholders, and it outlines a vision for building a sustainable world. This piece is part of a Caritas Luxembourg position paper sent early February 2012 to the Ministry for sustainable development and infrastructure of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (Ministère du Développement Durable et des Infrastructures, or MDDI), in order to inform Luxembourgish government’s position on sustainable development prior to the Rio+20 conference.
The Clash over the Amelisweerd Forest, 1957–1982
Odette van de Riet and Bert Toussaint
The Amelisweerd case, a highly debated highway network expansion project from the late 1970s, has been widely portrayed as a symbolic mismatch between government and entrenched stakeholder opposition. The aim of this article is to learn from the case by unraveling the policy process using a multiactor policy analysis model. The result is that the policy process scores poorly on all the three applied criteria, and this has had a discernible negative effect on the level of stakeholder support for the policy proposals. Since then, major changes have taken place in the planning processes of infrastructural projects in the Netherlands. However, the potential for learning from Amelisweerd is much wider, as since the 1960s public projects are increasingly subject to public scrutiny and comment. Careful analysis from iconic cases like Amelisweerd can help current infrastructural policymakers and planning project managers as they develop fresh policies and projects.
Has economic unification succeeded? Assessments differ, depending on the criteria selected, and the benchmark used. In many areas, from productivity to infrastructure and housing, dramatic economic improvements are readily apparent. Yet daunting challenges remain: the speed of productivity convergence has slowed, unemployment remains high and net emigration continues. Looking forward, demographic and fiscal trends pose serious challenges. This paper begins with a brief look back at the experience since 1989 before turning to a discussion of current and future challenges.
A Burgeoning Field of Research
Since the 1890s early film pioneers used their cinematographic oeuvre for educational and informative purposes. As a result not only did film production companies regard schools as a lucrative emerging market, but progressive teachers also welcomed this new resource for teaching and learning. Soon a professional infrastructure was created and included several teachers’ associations, film catalogues, journals, and conferences dealing with educational films and their use in teaching and the education sector.
Carlos López Galviz
Imagining the future of cities is often an exercise that is based upon the imagining of future transport infrastructure. The article explores this connection historically by drawing parallels between London, Paris and Shanghai since c.1851. It focuses on the role that symbols and mythmaking have in the process of envisioning both future transport and future cities. It raises questions about the continuities between contexts that are distant across space and over time and the extent to which such continuities might provide some insights into the many connections between cities, transport and mobilities.
Michael F. Wagner
Automobilism—the culture of individual mobility based on private transportation—is promoted by leisure, consumption, the construction of infrastructure, and the provision of service by auto clubs. It promises to carry the driver away on a voyage of discovery with narratives of adventurousness and dreams of the good life on the road. It was from the outset an international movement with national repercussions and variations on a theme. Basically, however, the rise of European automobile culture accompanied the rise of consumption for leisure, which in turn evolved into a consumption regime of mediation and consumption junctions based on individual mobility and tourism.
The study of mobility in Brazil remains a diverse field of inquiry, with (as yet) no unified research agenda. This article reviews recent scholarship, principally by Portuguese-speaking Brazilian academics, between 2010 and 2013. A broad range of topics exists, from urban planning, infrastructure, bicycling, walking, migration, and tourism (including for sex, for cosmetic surgery, and for slum visits). The article suggests that the range and work of current academics publishing in English-language journals is encouraging; however, steps still need to be taken to break down remaining language barriers between Portuguese and English scholarship.
Focusing on the wide-ranging scholarship on how railway technology, travel, and infrastructure has affected South Asia‚ this article highlights recent interventions and shifts. It discusses how questions about land‚ labor‚ capital‚ and markets are being increasingly integrated with questions about how railways affected society‚ culture‚ and politics. It also stresses the increasing interest in comparative work‚ both in terms of locating railways within wider structures of transport and mobility as well as analyzing how South Asia’s engagement relates to the global impact of this technology.
The article reviews the main literature on tourism and transport history in Uruguay, showing the recent progress on studies of mobility in the shaping of the national territory as well as new themes and periods that need to be studied. The article points out that the trilogy of tourism, mobility, and territory is relevant to understanding the image of Uruguay as a tourist country. Along with the importance given to road infrastructure, modes of transport, travelers, destinations, communication, and so on, the article highlights mobility processes such as internal migration provoked by tourism as phenomena that require more attention.