In a nineteenth century context, traffic could mean both communication and the transportation of goods and people. For instance, the German term “traffic” (Verkehr), referred to “communicating” (verkehren) and to “traffic”/“transportation” (Verkehr). Historically speaking, before the age of telegraphy, any communication over distance required the physical transport of a message or a messenger. Many authors, thus, identified the latter as a fundamental caesura in the relationship between media and mobility, uncoupling media from their previous reliance on physical movement. At the same time, telegraphy and the railway formed a paradigmatic symbiosis that enforced the ongoing duality between media and mobility: traffic depended on and sometimes boosted communication and vice versa. Hence, traffic and media were not disconnected as such, but their connections were rearranged and new ones emerged while others such as the postal services persisted.
On the Historical Alignment of Media and Mobility
Dorit Müller and Heike Weber
From the Eternal Grand Coalition to the Traffic Light Alliance
The German Party System before and after the 2021 Federal Election
Frank Decker and Philipp Adorf
, whereas the fdp is comfortable sharing governmental duties with the Greens. Having been one of the least likely coalition options at the beginning of the election year, this “traffic light” alliance would quickly come to an agreement after polling day
Flow and flood
Mobilities, life in roads and abiotic actors of the (m)ôtô‐cene
Traffic in mega‐urban Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) demonstrates the transformative powers of vehicles and transport infrastructures. Like eddies of a river, traffic flows are abiotic actors – other‐than‐human physical phenomena that influence how traffic makes its way. But the liquid sense of flow in Vietnamese imaginings has unique qualities that challenge singular conceptualisations of the Anthropocene. Moving beyond human‐centredness, this paper re‐imagines traffic of metropolitan HCMC as the ()‐cene. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, I examine transformations of diurnal patterns of banal journey‐making where infrastructure routinely fails and ask how abiotic actors shape ways of inhabiting the Anthropocene and living with roads.
‘Excesses’ of modernity
Mundane mobilities, politics and the remaking of the urban
Cars are celebrated as the technical and symbolic epitome of modernity but are also heavily implicated in the making of climate change, imbricated within a seemingly all‐powerful global capitalist system. What can an anthropological analysis of traffic in urban areas tell us about the enduring strength of this system? While cars in Beirut are both desired and necessary to move about, strong feelings of frustration are taking shape among residents and commuters who face the ever‐congested roads of the capital city daily. This mounting frustration indexes an emerging ‘structure of feeling’ towards everyday automobility that has created explicit and concrete desire for alternative mobilities, particularly public transport, which scholars of automobility had pronounced dead. In this light, while cars remain objects of desire, in Beirut as elsewhere, an ‘excess’ of automobility – of modernity, we might say – is in fact weakening the dominance of cars, exposing a potential brittleness previously undetected. Acknowledging this process forces us to reconsider our modernist assumptions about the inevitable predominance of cars and offers hope for alternative mobility futures.
A Brief History of Smart Transportation Infrastructure
Kathleen Frazer Oswald
layers of information to achieve safer and more efficient management of flows places real-time management of trains via telegraph as well as traffic signals in a longer trajectory leading up to visions of future automobility. Rather than see smart as a
The Transfers/T2M Duo and the Evolution of the Reflection on Mobilities
The Textbook Case of the Historical Representations of the Paris Beltway
roadways to the point of sometimes forgetting their underlying raison d'être, requires a clarification around the advent of the new social and ecological question of urban traffic in the public debate. No doubt the historian is better placed to write the
Ten Years of Transfers
Mobility Studies and Social Change during a Pandemic
routines are thrown into disarray, stability goes awry. In reflecting on this journal's contributions to the study of transport, traffic and mobility over the last ten years, I would like to think about how the work of our contributors, and community of
More Than a Two-Way Traffic
Analyzing, Translating, and Comparing Political Concepts from other Cultures
In this article, the author examines the case of the Chinese reception of Western political and social concepts as an example to discuss the substantive issues involved in the circulation of concepts between Europe and other parts of the world. Translation and adaptation are key steps in this process of circulation. The question however is not to investigate whether the transposed concept is an accurate transcription of the original, but to understand how this concept acquires new meanings and rhetorical functions within the political and ideological disputes of the society to which is has been transposed. Thus, translation should be understood as a complex, multilayered process of intercultural communication whose result is affected by inequalities of power, but still open to multiple outcomes of agency, even when exercised in colonial or semi-colonial settings.
Motorists, Non-drivers and Traffic Accidents between the Wars
a Provisional Survey
This international overview focuses on the conflict between drivers and non- drivers in Britain, France, the United States, Germany, and Sweden during the interwar period. It suggests that on neither side of the Channel did pro-pedestrian movements make a major impact on national safety legislation. In the U.S.A. automobile-manufacturing interest groups undermined what they perceived to be threatening neighborhood opposition to the onward rush of the automobile. In Germany, which had earlier experienced high levels of anti-car activity, Hitler-inspired commitment to modernization nevertheless led, by the mid-1930s, to the consolidation of punitive measures against erring drivers. In Sweden, however, there appears to have been a high degree of complementarity between pro-motorism and policies designed to minimize dangerous driving. The paper concludes that an understanding of this “deviant“ position may be deepened through scrutiny of the values associated with the Swedish Social Democratic Workers' Party (SAP). A similar approach might be applied to the other nations discussed in the article.
Keep Moving, Stay Tuned
The Construction of Flow in and through Radio Traffic Reports
Radio 1 host: We are not just going to Washington on this memorable December 8. There is also something going on in Driebergen, Theo Gerritsen! Mr. Gerritsen: And that concerns one traffic jam. On the A10 Amsterdam in the direction