In the Pipeline at Limn: Public Infrastructures / Infrastructural Publics

The next issue of Limn (#7) examines how, today, relationships among government, expertise, and publics are being constituted, reconstituted, and contested through infrastructures.  

Edited by: Stephen J. Collier, James Christopher Mizes and Antina von Schnitzler


Infrastructure has always had a privileged relationship to both expertise and the public in modern government. But in the early 21st century, this relationship is inflected in novel ways.

  • New actors such as foundations, private companies, supranational institutions and community-based organizations have become increasingly important to the planning and management of infrastructures.
  • New problems – including climate change, demands for transparency or community involvement – have challenged traditional ways of thinking about and providing infrastructure.
  • New technologies – from ICTs to renewable energy technologies – have opened up ways to rethink the relationship between the state, knowledge production and infrastructure provisioning.


The contributions explore how emergent forms of infrastructural expertise entail new ways of conceiving of the public and making claims in its name, and how earlier norms and techniques of infrastructure provisioning have been adapted in the process.


  • Nikhil Anand on hydraulic publics in Mumbai
  • Soe Lin Aung on finance and infrastructure in Southeast Asia
  • Jonathan Bach on China’s infrastructure fix
  • Andrea Ballestero on aquifers as infrastructure in Costa Rica
  • Andrew Barry on infrastructure’s transparencies in the U.K.
  • Ashley Carse on drought as infrastructural event in Panama
  • Stephen J. Collier, Savannah Cox, and Kevin Grove on infrastructures and design in New York
  • Kevin Donovan and Emma Park on private infrastructure and the postcolonial state in Kenya
  • Catherine Fennell on Flint, Michigan, lead, and infrastructure
  • Andreas Folkers on electric power and democracy in Germany
  • Gökçe Günel on Masdar City in Abu Dhabi
  • Penny Harvey and Hannah Knox on infrastructural incursions in the Andes
  •  Cymene Howe and Dominic Boyer on renewable energy and aeolian infrastructure in Mexico
  • Andrew Lakoff on water and ecological values in California
  • James Christopher Mizes on urban infrastructure and public finance in West Africa
  • Canay Özden-Schilling on electricity and its publics in the United States
  • Ute Tellmann and Sven Opitz on European infrastructuralism
  • Antina von Schnitzler on electricity and coal publics in South Africa.
  • Alan Wiig on the infrastructural politics of “smart cities”

Image: (top) Indian construction workers at Boulder Dam, Nevada. High scalers, c. 1935; (bottom) Rebuild by Design, Hurricane Sandy, Winning proposal by BIG U.