What is Global History of Technology (good for)?

  • Friedrich N. Ammermann European University Institute


Despite the large role that technology plays in many Global History studies, a self-styled ‘Global History of Technology’ is emerging only recently. Given that technology is not easily contained in national frameworks, global history lends itself easily to histories of technology. What is still largely missing, however, is a conceptualization of what a ‘Global History of Technology’, that brings both strands together, could contribute, to either discipline and as a whole. This gap is at the centre of this essay. After sketching the key ideas and development in Global History and History of Technology, this essay outlines how a Global History of Technology could like, what it enquires and which terms it might use. It is finally argued, that Global History and History of Technology complement each other in many ways, and that new terms can help to sharpen Global History arguments and to provide (non-Eurocentric?) ‘fresh perspectives’ on technology in the Global South as well as the Western world.

Author Biography

Friedrich N. Ammermann, European University Institute
PhD researcher at the Department of History and Civilization, European University Institute