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The European Commission of the Danube, 1856-1948

An Experiment in International Administration

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Constantin Ardeleanu

In The European Commission of the Danube, 1856-1948 Constantin Ardeleanu offers a history of the world’s second international organisation, an innovative techno-political institution established by Europe’s Concert of Powers to remove insecurity from the Lower Danube. Delegates of rival empires worked together to ‘correct’ a vital European transportation infrastructure, and to complete difficult hydraulic works they gradually transformed the Commission into an actor of regional and international politics. As an autonomous and independent organ, it employed a complex transnational bureaucracy and regulated shipping along the Danube through a comprehensive set of internationally accepted rules and procedures. The Commission is portrayed as an effective experimental organisation, taken as a model for further cooperation in the international system.