1st Edition

Information and Power in History
Towards a Global Approach

ISBN 9781138344068
Published February 5, 2020 by Routledge
290 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations

USD $155.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

The relationship between information and power is a relevant subject for all times. Today’s perceived ‘information revolution’ has caused information to become a separate object of study during the last two decades for several disciplines. As the contemporary perspective is dominant, information history as a discipline of its own has not yet crystallized. In bringing together studies around a new research agenda on the relationship between information and power across time and space, presenting various governance regimes, media, materials, and modes of communication, this book forces us to rethink the prospects and challenges for such a new discipline.

Table of Contents

  1. The potency of the human element: information and power in history
  2. Toni Weller

  3. Period, theme, event: locating information history in history
  4. Alistair Black and Bonnie Mak

    Theme I: Experts and influence

  5. Knowledge is power. Opening up the teaching monopoly on the art of rulership in medieval Italy
  6. David Napolitano

  7. Trading information. Willem Usselincx (1567-1647) in the corridors of power
  8. Ida Nijenhuis

  9. Electoral research, pollsters and the performative power of information about the ‘public’. The Netherlands and the transatlantic connection (1945-1990)
  10. Wim de Jong and Fons Meijer

  11. From neo-corporatism to regulatory governance: interests, expertise and power in Dutch extraparliamentary governance, c. 1900-2018
  12. Adriejan van Veen

    Theme II: Exchange and hegemony

  13. The perils of the post road: diplomats, diplomatic couriers, and the informational fabric of early modern Europe
  14. Megan K. Williams

  15. Communication, information and power in the Dutch colonial empire: The case of the Dutch East India Company, c. 1760
  16. Gerrit Knaap

  17. Unifying the country: information-gathering by the Dutch central government in the Batavian-French period (1795-1813)
  18. Ronald Sluijter

    Theme III: Disclosure and control

  19. Sailing and secrecy. Information control and power in Dutch overseas companies in the late sixteenth - early seventeenth century
  20. Djoeke van Netten

  21. Struggling for the ‘right to know’. American and British attitudes towards whistle-blowers (1966-2005)
  22. Joris Gijsenbergh

  23. An optimizer of power? The political usefulness of Dutch security intelligence, 1966-1989
  24. Constant Willem Hijzen

  25. The power struggle between the party and the public library. The crisis of public librarianship in communist Romania (1970-1989)
  26. Claudia Șerbănuță

    Theme IV: Empowerment and neglect

  27. Contested law-making: mobilization for the right to information law in India, 1990-2005
  28. Gitika De

  29. Carved in stone? The role of written and unwritten information in solving the Eurasian question after 1945
  30. Liesbeth Rosen Jacobson

  31. Paper trails to private lives. The performative power of card indexes through time and space
  32. Marijke van Faassen and Marieke Oprel

  33. Information and Power in History: A new historiographical approach?

          The editors


View More



Ida Nijenhuis is senior researcher at the Department of History at the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands, the Netherlands

Marijke van Faassen is senior researcher at the Department of History at the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands, the Netherlands

Ronald Sluijter is researcher at the Department of Digital Data Management at the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands, the Netherlands

Joris Gijsenbergh is assistant professor in Political History at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands

Wim de Jong is postdoctoral researcher at the Open University, the Netherlands