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    The infrastructure of the global economy: the shipping container as a political artefact

    Colas, Alejandro (2017) The infrastructure of the global economy: the shipping container as a political artefact. In: McCarthy, D. (ed.) Technology and World Politics: An Introduction. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. ISBN 9781138955875.

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    This chapter analyses the shipping container as a political artefact – a box which is not simply a neutral, cost-cutting technology taking things from one place to another, but rather a powerful force of world politics with its own distinctive spatial effects, sociological impact and (geo)political dimensions. Contrary to the prevailing conception of the shipping container as a technology that smoothens economic transactions across borders, thereby deepening international interdependence, I emphasise below the points of friction that accompany the ‘social life’ of containers – moments and places where the ‘striated’ spaces of national jurisdictions, state and international bureaucracies, logistical infrastructures and class politics also act as key protagonists, both slowing down, yet also facilitating transnational mobility.


    Item Type: Book Section
    Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Alex Colas
    Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2017 15:59
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:31


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