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The Infrastructured State

Territoriality and the National Infrastructure System

Colin Turner

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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Colin Turner

This is the third book in a trilogy of books examining the multiscalar nature of infrastructure systems. After examining global and regional infrastructure systems, it was inevitable that the work would evolve to focus on the core underpinning national systems that support the analysis within previous volumes. The study of infrastructure is a rather amorphous affair covering both natural and hard sciences as well as much of the fields of study that lie between. This book – following on the precedent set by the previous volumes – views infrastructure through the lens of territoriality. This treats infrastructure as an adjunct of the territorial strategies deployed by states to secure and enhance their territoriality. In so doing, the book takes a more catholic approach to the study of national infrastructure systems looking beyond economic infrastructure (transport, energy, information and water) towards social and soft infrastructure components of the system. This approach underlines a mutually supporting nature of the interacting components of the national infrastructure system, not merely between the economic components of the systems and those aspects of the system that enable their operation. Inevitably, such an approach tends to lead to a focus upon those states with mature infrastructure systems where the interconnections between its components are well developed. This has led to a focus within the forthcoming analysis on infrastructure systems within developed states where there are both mature systems and where the available data is both more comprehensive and contemporaneous. Nonetheless, this position is valuable as it provides a precedent for other states. Where the data is available then analysis of emerging and developing states is offered.

Dr Colin Turner

July 2019