The Transnational Culture of Expertise : Circulating State Related Knowledge in the 18th and 19th Centuries
Berlin : De Gruyter Oldenbourg
Building on the new critical historiography about the evolution of the European state, the book analyses how administrators, scientists, popular publicists and other actors tried to redefine the realms of state action in the "Sattelzeit" (Koselleck). By focussing on the specific strategies of these actors and on the transnational circulation and dissemination of state related knowledge itself, the contributors of the book highlight the fluidity and the interconnections of the European debate in the crucial period of the development of the modern nation-state and its administration. They study the common European features of the evolution of a new type of statehood built upon multiple circulations and transfers that forged administrative practices in the different fields of state action. Analysing important fields of expertise ranging from agricultural knowledge, mining sciences to anthropological knowledge, which laid the basis for the new "scientific" foundations of administration, the book underlines the necessity of a re-evaluation of the classical approaches to the history of state in the 18th and 19th centuries.