Introduction
The ideal river
in The ideal river
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This chapter introduces the ideal river as a rational and reliable highway for the seamless movement of goods, people, and ideas. The ideal river enriches the state, enlightens the populace, and brings liberal progress along the metaphorical river of history. The book’s main narrative, then, examines the construction of that ideal river in the European geographical imagination and the ensuing political projects to actualize that vision through the creation of the first international organizations (IOs). The chapter then outlines the book’s key aims.

The ideal river

How control of nature shaped the international order

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