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The Dematerialization of Telecommunication: Communication Centres and Peripheries in Europe, 1850-1920

Wenzlhuemer, Roland

In: Journal of Global History, 2 (2007), pp. 345-372

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Interregional communication has been a key constituent of the process of globalization since its very origins. For most of its history, information has moved between world regions and along the routes according to the rationales established by interregional trade and migration. The dematerialization of telecommunication in the late eighteenth and nineteenth century eventually detached long-distance information transmission from transport and transformed the global communication structure. New communication centres (and new peripheries) emerged. Some regions moved closer to the global data stream than others. It is still unclear how such different degrees of global connectivity impacted on local development. This essay contributes to the identification and valuation of global communication centres and peripheries in order to provide suitable candidates for future case studies. To this end, statistical data on the development of domestic telegraph networks in selected countries has been analysed and interpreted. In a second step, Social Network Analysis methods have been employed to measure the centrality of almost three hundred cities and towns in the European telecommunication network of the early twentieth century.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Global History
Volume: 2
Publisher: London School of Economics and Political Science
Place of Publication: London
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2015 13:39
Date: 2007
Page Range: pp. 345-372
Faculties / Institutes: Philosophische Fakultät > Historisches Seminar
Subjects: 900 Geography and history
Controlled Keywords: Telekommunikation, Kommunikation, Europa, Geschichte
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