Tensions of Europe

The Northern Studies Research Group at UiT The Arctic University of Norway is connected to a large network of scholars named “Tensions of Europe: Technology and the Making of Europe”

The Tensions of Europe (ToE) international network was initiated at Eindhoven, the Netherlands in 1999. It qualified as a European Science Foundation network in excellence in 2000 and became successful not least by extending its networks to include joint research involving scholars from many different geographical regions of Europe.

Technology is seen, by this community, in its societal and path-dependent context; this means as a materially oriented, knowledge and skill-based socio-economic endeavor – as old as humankind itself is. Research and teaching areas of this are e.g. infrastructure and artifacts; people, practices and values; knowledge, ideas and skills; networks, institutions and governance; citizen initiatives and truth enactments. More specifically this may entail how technological processes have connected and divided Europe, how “Europe” has related closely, and not seldom in hegemonic ways, to its peripheries and to its adjacent and overseas colonies. Europe in recent times itself developing into a playground for global economic and technological forces exerted from centers now far away from its own capitals.

A renewed Tensions of Europe website has recently be launched  including among other information about its second flagship program ”Technology & Societal Challenges, ca. 1815-2015”. NSRG has participated in the ToE's Research Group Technology, Environment and Resources, led by Matthias Heymann at Aarhus University, Denmark and by Elena Kochetkova at the Higher School of Economics Campus St. Petersburg.

A thematic journal issue, named “Challenging Europe: Technology, environment and the quest for resource security”, is edited within the frame of this group by Per Högselius at the ToE member institution at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm. Urban Wråkberg has suggested an article tentatively titled “Euroarctic natural gas and European energy security” to this issue. Wråkberg is invited to discuss other work in a colloquium in Århus, Denmark in May. In August 2018, a workshop on “Arctic resources” is scheduled aiming to develop new collaborative proposals for funding.

A traveller, connecting Europe to Asia, at a border monument outside Ekaterinburg, Russia. Photo: Urban Wråkberg