Category Archives: imperialism & colonialism

Ports, ships and the human economy of global sea trade: an interview with Laleh Khalili

Little has been written about the sea trade in the Gulf. Laleh Khalili’s latest book explores the complex realities that drive this massive economy.Tugrul Mende30 June 2020 During the COVID-19 pandemic many workers in ports and on ships have either … Continue reading

Posted in capital accumulation, empire, empire, imperialism & colonialism, free ports/zones, imperialism & colonialism, infrastructure, labour, logistics, media, Middle East, political economy, ports, seafaring, shipping conditions, transport | Leave a comment

Recent lecture: Tankers and Tycoons

Here is a link to a talk I have given a few times, most recently at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. It is a talk I am hoping to turn into an article, but which requires a bit more … Continue reading

Posted in imperialism & colonialism, labour, logistics, Middle East, oil, political economy, shipping conditions, ships, transport, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Publication: The Roads to Power: The Infrastructure of Counterinsurgency

It has been years since I posted here, but I am going to quickly provide some links to various publications related to the project here. The first is an article that conjugates my research on transport infrastructures with my counterinsurgency … Continue reading

Posted in construction, empire, empire, imperialism & colonialism, imperialism & colonialism, infrastructure, logistics, militaries, transport, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Of Ballast and Land Reclamation

That extraordinary image is from some time in the 1970s, and the container-ship steaming so serenely in Hudson River is a Jugolinija ship belonging to the Yugoslav national shipping line.  What is of course poignant about the image is that … Continue reading

Posted in capital accumulation, construction, environment, imperialism & colonialism, infrastructure, political economy, transport, Uncategorized, war | 1 Comment

The Multivalence of Infrastructures II – Rail

I am reading a fascinating article about colonial engineering. Canay Ozden’s fabulous “Pontifex Minimus” is about the British engineer of the Low (or old) Aswan Dam, and the article just drips with all sorts of wonderful quotable sections.  For example, … Continue reading

Posted in empire, empire, imperialism & colonialism, environment, imperialism & colonialism, infrastructure, Uncategorized, war | Leave a comment

The Multivalence of Infrastructure I – Roads

As always Paul Rabinow’s French Modern is an extraordinary reminder of how transport infrastructures serve functions at once military and commercial – and in fact “war, commerce, and transit” (in Paul Nizan’s memorable phrase) cannot be prised apart. Here is Rabinow … Continue reading

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Labour and Capital

From Walter Rodney’s wonderful How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, this passage on the making of infrastructures in Africa: The combination of being oppressed, being exploited, and being disregarded is best illustrated by the pattern of the economic infrastructure of African colonies : … Continue reading

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The Logistics of War

The indispensable National Security Archives has released a memo by Rumsfeld (dated 6 October 2001) that has loads on the logistics of war.  The memo covers Rumsfeld’s visit to Saudi Arabia, Oman, Egypt and Central Asia, in preparation for the invasion … Continue reading

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