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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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Chapter 2: National transportation infrastructure

Colin Turner


The link between state territoriality and transport infrastructure has long been recognised (see, for example, Mann 1984; Brenner 1999). Whilst much of this work (see, for example, Taylor 1994) has a very strong historical focus, it does inform contemporary debates on the nature and structure of territorial infrastructuring strategies that form the focus of the work within this volume. In examining the role of transport infrastructure within contemporary territorial strategy, it is necessary not just to examine issues of the notion of quality, quantity and universality in such systems and how they shape territoriality but also to assess the main adaptive tensions within such systems. Whilst the development of transport infrastructure systems inevitably varies markedly between states, there are, nonetheless, generic patterns and trends that are identifiable. This chapter will focus on those aspects that best inform territorial strategy. Initially the chapter will seek to identify the role of the National Transportation Infrastructure (NTI) within territoriality, addressing its core facets and features (notably quality, quantity and universality) before moving on to briefly examine the adaptive tensions within the NTI and the resultant infrastructure financing gap across many NTIs. Expressed in terms of territoriality, the NTI is the multi (sometimes inter)-modal hierarchical system means of moving people, commodities and partially and semi-completed products around and between territories (for a review see Rodrigue et al. 2016). Looking beyond these economic drivers, it is also evident that the NTI is important for the state to move its material around a territory

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