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Taking networks of individuals, ideas, and material goods as its fundamental object of inquiry, my research transcends the national paradigm in historical writing as it tracks people, concepts, and objects across borders. It investigates how governments, organizations, and individuals constructed and mobilized these networks to execute specific agendas and shows how the uses and meanings of technologies, discourses, and practices changed through time and space. Firmly grounded in empirical research, this approach nonetheless allows for the reconsideration of fundamental conceptual categories—center/periphery, local/global, universal/national, developed/backward, powerful/powerless. It reveals that relations between these categories are not as straightforward as they appear, demonstrating, for instance, that a center depends on the existence of a periphery. It likewise shows how the unintended consequence of cultural, technological, and political projects often prove to be more important than their stated aims, probing, for example, how in some cases the tools of nationalism grew out of universalists endeavors. Focused on modern European history (particularly Southeastern Europe and France), my work broadly engages with the historical literature as well as the work of political scientists, scholars of science and technology studies, and specialists in international relations. It models an approach to transnational history that goes beyond simple comparison.

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