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Current FlowThe Electrification of Palestine$
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Ronen Shamir

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804787062

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804787062.001.0001

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From State to Market

From State to Market

(p.104) 4 From State to Market
Current Flow

Ronen Shamir

Stanford University Press

This chapter considers the relationship between the expanding grid and state-run projects and installations. It traces the role of commercial firms, government officials, politicians and engineers in securing, or failing to secure, state expenditures. One focus is on the way contracts with the government enabled the expansion of the grid to select relatively remote locations. However the main focus is on the failed attempt to electricity the state-owned Jaffa-Jerusalem Railway. Analyzing the links between technical and financial considerations, the thrust of the chapter is in theorizing state-market relations not only in terms of techno-political assemblies but also in respect to their spatial and demographic implications. The main finding is that while the electrification of the railways may have contributed to the consolidation of a national infrastructure, the failure to thus electrify further deepened ethnic-based differential access to electricity.

Keywords:   Jaffa-Jerusalem Railway, Sarafand, Palestine Rail, Rutenberg, techno-politics, electric streetcars

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