Technology and the Making of Europe


Building a new research agenda: Technology and the Making of Europe's Societal Challenges

On 10-11 March 2016, representatives from 13 out of currently 19 partner institutions in the Tensions of Europe /SHT Grand Challenges program met at an inspiring workshop in Vught (the Netherlands).

The aim of the workshop was to kick-off the new flagship research program Technology and the Making of Europe’s Societal Challenges, using our past Tensions of Europe research experience to address the big issues and crises of our time. The first explorative phase of the program aims to explore the historical questions we should ask about what goes on in the world today, and how they could be researched. We hope to have our first answers by the time of the next ToE conference in Athens. Also we want to identify funding options for actual in depth research phase.

In Vught a first list of possible research themes emerged:

  • Resources and Colonialism
  • B/order
  • Security
  • Migration
  • Discourses of Crisis
  • Science Diplomacy
  • Disruptive Technologies
  • Urban Challenges/Urban Mobility
  • Labour
  • Health
  • Financial Crisis
  • Environment

This list serves as starting point. Scholars and institutions are invited to get involved and join developing theme groups or propose new themes. You can read the full report of the workshop here.For more information please download the report of the kick-off workshop here, or contact Erik van der Vleuten (


Previous  collaborative research initiatives

Various research projects and initiatives have been carried out by the Tensions of Europe network. Until now all projects and initiatives address the Inventing Europe intellectual agenda that was developed in de beginning of the 21st century. The Inventing Europe research program consisted among other of four extensive Collaborative Research Projects (CRP's):

  • EUWOL European 'Ways of Life' in the American Century: Mediating Consumption and Technology in the Twentieth Century 
  • EUROCRIT Europe Goes Critical: The Emergence and Governance of Critical Transnational European Infrastructures 
  • SOFT-EU Software for Europe Constructing Europe through Software 
  • WRR The European Water, Road and Rail Infrastructure: A Geographical Information System for the History of the European Integration (1825-2010) 

In 2010 the Inventing Europe research programme was closed during the 4th Tensions of Europe conference in Sofia. The programme was reviewed in a final report by the European Science foundation in March 2011.

Several other Tensions of Europe projects (see seubmenu) also address the Inventing Europe research agenda. 

The findings of all projects are discussed in various categories of publications and will soon also be disseminated via


Watch the introduction video about the Inventing Europe research programme by project leader Johan Schot!