Monday, November 14, 2016

The state and the birth of big industry: shipbuilding in Finland now in blog form

After two years of mulling it over, I decided to return to Blogger with my current life-project, the doctoral dissertation. I was strongly swayed to do this by a couple of people with really good arguments about open science and what not. I'll try to get into these issues down the line but in the meantime I'll try to flesh out my research, ideas and all related issues that are part and parcel of doing a phd in history at this time.

About that phd. My thesis will be titled "Valtio ja suurteollisuuden synty" in Finnish. This translates roughly to the state and the birth of big industry. The state I understand as a complex of various Finnish government actors of various permanence and breadth. Big industry is shipbuilding, although I primarily focus on the largest actors for various reasons. I use Thomas Hughes' large technological systems approach (LTS) and Gabrielle Hecht's notion of technopolitics along a bunch of other ideas, but I'll get to theories and methodology later as well. And it's largely about these:

Arctia Shipping icebreaker Voima (Force) in Helsinki. Voima was built at Wärtsilä Helsinki Shipyard (now Arctech) in the early 1950s for the Finnish state maritime administration. When I'm done, I should have a whole chapter about this ship and its national significance in Cold War Finland. Picture: Aaro Sahari, 2016.

So, my aim with this blog is to actually talk about doing historical research in a widely accessible way, to put out and test ideas and to reflect on my work. In other words, this is a quick and dirty tool, but hopefully it'll also leave something usable on the web. This relates to my choice of language as well. My thesis will be in Finnish, this blog will not. I will try and use English to keep up the habit and to make my ideas easier to access.

Here goes...

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