Skip to main content
Top

2023 | Book

An Institutional Approach to the Göta kanal

A Nineteenth-Century Infrastructure Mega-Project

insite
SEARCH

About this book

This book is based on an institutional evolutionary theoretical view to the Göta kanal. Canals were the major transport infrastructure system besides roads and maritime transport until railroads were introduced. The canal studied is the Swedish Göta kanal project during the preparation and construction phase from 1800–1832. Thus, the Göta kanal, and the canal-era, is seen from a technological, an economic and a political perspective. Comparisons are made with two contemporary major canal-projects; the Erie Canal in the USA (1817–1825) and the Caledonian Canal in Britain (1804–1822). It is argued that the Göta kanal project, as Sweden's Mega Project of its time, represented an important development step in Sweden as regards learning and innovation and became a starting point for Swedish transport infrastructure projects in the time to come, primarily the railways.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter
Chapter 1. The Development of Transport Infrastructure Systems
Abstract
Transport infrastructure systems and the development of these over time is the focus of this book, here with canals as the study-object. The canal studied is the Swedish Göta kanal project during the preparation and construction phase from 1800 to 1832. Comparisons are made with two contemporary major canal projects: the Erie Canal in the US (1817–1825) and the Caledonian Canal in Britain (1804–1822). The analysis in this book is framed in an institutional evolutionary theoretical view, as presented in my 2018 book Transport Infrastructure in Time, Scope and Scale. Thus, the Göta kanal project, and the canal era, is seen from a technological, an economic and a political perspective. In this chapter, different perspectives on transport infrastructure, and more specifically canals are presented.
Björn Hasselgren
Chapter 2. Göta kanal and the “Canal Age”: The Literature
Abstract
The Göta kanal project has generated a vast literature in Sweden (and predominantly in Swedish) since the nineteenth century. Only few scholarly texts in English have been published with the Göta kanal project as their core subject. The current study thus fills a gap in the literature, where Göta kanal and the experiences from it can be inserted into the general framework of inland waterways and canal studies in other countries and major infrastructure projects in general. Thus, analysing the Göta kanal project in relation to an institutional co-evolutionary analytical framework and offering improved possibilities to compare it to other projects is among the aims of the current book.
Björn Hasselgren
Chapter 3. Göta kanal: The Major Swedish Canal—And an Example of the Canal Era—A Brief Introduction
Abstract
The Göta kanal project being initiated in the early 1800s and finalized in 1832 is briefly introduced. Some major events during the project are presented. Other canal projects in Sweden and in other countries are briefly discussed. The US Eire Canal and the Caledonian Canal in Scotland are presented as comparisons.
Björn Hasselgren
Chapter 4. Different Perspectives on Göta kanal
Abstract
This chapter is based on the multifaceted co-evolutionary model presented in Chapter 1, but goes further in elaborating different aspects, with a focus on themes related to primarily political, economic and organizational areas of influence. The role of transport infrastructure projects in relation to national-identity shaping processes is also discussed, as well as technology import and innovation.
Björn Hasselgren
Chapter 5. Göta kanal and the Iron Industry in the Adjoining Regions—An Example of Interrelations and Interdependencies
Abstract
The objective of this chapter is to describe the importance of a major iron mill industry in the vicinity of Göta kanal, Stjernsund with the exclusive manor, the home of the proprietor Olof Burenstam, as a place with numerous connections to the Göta kanal project, besides the industrial linkages. The chapter is focused on the relations between three main actors related to Stjernsund and Göta kanal and the connections between Stjernsund with its mill operations and the canal project. There is more focus on the general aspects of how a major transport infrastructure project like Göta kanal interconnected to the major iron mill operations during the realization of the canal project, than on the alterations of transport flows as the canal was opened. Some aspects on trade-flow effects are though presented, primarily as examples more than final conclusions.
Björn Hasselgren
Chapter 6. Conclusions and Analysis
Abstract
In this chapter, the description and analysis from the previous chapters are brought together, and a connection to the analytical framework with the multifaceted co-evolutionary perspective is presented. The project can be understood and interpreted within a framework that includes technology, economics and politics/culture and can be seen as existing in a continuous challenge and contradiction between private sector and public sector organizations, financing and institutional settings.
Björn Hasselgren
Backmatter
Metadata
Title
An Institutional Approach to the Göta kanal
Author
Björn Hasselgren
Copyright Year
2023
Electronic ISBN
978-3-031-44416-6
Print ISBN
978-3-031-44415-9
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-44416-6