Daten zum Projekt

Conquering (with) Concrete. German Construction Companies as Global Players in Local Contexts 

Initiative: Freigeist-Fellowships
Bewilligung: 02.07.2019
Laufzeit: 5 Jahre


Global construction companies impact our futures. Beyond the edifices and infrastructures they construct, they also fundamentally influence governmental development aid policies, or dislocate people to build a new dam, for example. Yet the role of these major global players and their persistent presence in different world regions has barely been reflected upon. This project uses German construction companies as a prism to address a wide spectrum of economic, political, environmental or cultural impacts in specific local contexts through case studies. The choice to investigate such entrenched power structures through German firms is triggered by an interest in the label 'Made in Germany' which was established in the late colonial period and remains an unquestioned marker of quality. The main research question is: how have architecture and infrastructure projects built by German companies conquered the world? The project not only seeks to critically analyse success stories, but also to interrogate moments of failure. Focusing on production cycles, a research team of the PI and three PhD candidates will scrutinise global flows of capital, labour, know-how and construction materials such as concrete in three different representative regions in the climate zone of the humid tropics: Brazil, Nigeria and Cameroon, (South) India and Sri Lanka.


  • Dr. Monika Motylinska

    Leibniz-Institut für Raumbezogene
    Sozialforschung e.V. (IRS)
    Forschungsabteilung Historische Forschungsstelle

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