Boris Vormann

Boris Vormann | Freie Universität Berlin
Boris Vormann | Freie Universität Berlin

Global Humanities Junior Research and Teaching Stay at Harvard

July - Oktober 2015

Infrastructures of American Empire: Global Trade Networks, Market Failure and Patterns of State Intervention

The research project centers on the 'Infrastructures of American Empire.' In brief, this research is interested in how the state, (even) in the liberal-market context of the United States, has been crucial in facilitating the rise of global trade networks—and how these networks, in turn, have shaped urbanization processes in the United States’ leading global cities of New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles. Large-scale social organization rests on infrastructures. This work explores the global trade infrastructures that gave rise to American Empire in three phases: an imperial phase (1870s-1920s), a Fordist phase (1930s-1970s), and a neoliberal phase (1970s-today). In so doing, this project traces the context-dependence of political thought and practice in infrastructure finance.

Boris Vormann is a researcher in political science and urban political economy at Freie Universität’s John-F.-Kennedy Institute for North American Studies. His work focuses on urbanization and nationalism. Vormann has authored a monograph ’Zwischen Alter und Neuer Welt‘ (Synchron, 2012) and co-edited the volume ’Québec. Staat und Gesellschaft’ (Synchron, 2011). His book on 'Global Port Cities in North America: Urbanization Processes and Global Production Networks' was recently published by Routledge (2015) and a handbook on policy and politics in the United States (Springer VS, 2015), which he has coedited with Christian Lammert and Markus Siewert, is currently in print.