The Infrastructured State


The Infrastructured State

Territoriality and the National Infrastructure System

9781788970303 Edward Elgar Publishing
Colin Turner, Institute for Infrastructure, Heriot-Watt University, UK
Publication Date: 2020 ISBN: 978 1 78897 030 3 Extent: 208 pp
At the core of the logic of this book is that states engage in infrastructuring as a means of securing and enhancing their territoriality. By positioning infrastructure as a system, there is a presumption that all infrastructures exhibit some degree of mutual dependence. As such, a National Infrastructure System (NIS) is not simply about conventional conceptions of infrastructure based on those that support economic activity (i.e. energy, transport and information) but also about broader hard and soft structures that both enable and are supported by the aforementioned economic infrastructures. Consequently, this book offers an ambitious holistic view on the form of NIS arguing that the infrastructural mandate requires a conception of the state that encapsulates themes from both the competition and the welfare states in infrastructure provision.

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Exploring how infrastructure is – and can be – used by states as part of their territorial strategy, this timely book examines how core economic infrastructures including transport, energy, information and water support states’ territorial objectives. Colin Turner analyses each of these infrastructures, looking at the main adaptive tensions acting both upon them and upon national infrastructure systems (NIS) as a whole.

Offering a holistic view on NIS, the book deciphers how states engage in infrastructuring as a means of securing and enhancing their territoriality. Assessing the role that both hard and soft infrastructure systems play, chapters highlight how these can enable and be supported by economic infrastructures. Turner conceptualises the National Information Infrastructure System, looking at the pressure upon infrastructure to retain its capability to support and enable a state’s territorial strategy.

Public policy and regional studies scholars will appreciate the integrated approach to NIS offered in this book. It will also be beneficial to policy makers looking to better understand debates on policy design around NIS, and practitioners implementing these systems.
Critical Acclaim
‘If you want to get a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the nature of infrastructure then I thoroughly recommend you read this book. In this work, Colin Turner strikes a well-crafted balance between conceptual and empirical insights into various aspects of this subject. He also provides very useful analyses on how different elements of national infrastructure systems interact and intersect with each other, and examines infrastructure development at various geo-spatial scales. His main conclusions are neatly brought together and articulated around the concept of the infrastructure state. Colin Turner’s book is an essential read for those who wish to better understand our increasingly inter-connected world.’
– Christopher M. Dent, Edge Hill University, UK
Contents: 1. The State and Its Infrastructure System 2. National Transportation Infrastructure 3. National Information Infrastructure 4. National Energy Infrastructure 5. National Water Infrastructure System 6. Soft Infrastructure 7. Social Infrastructure 8. Conclusions: The Infrastructured State Index
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