Article ID: CBB001213862

Technology and Global Politics: The Modern Experiences of Bertrand Russell and John H. Herz (2013)

unapi

As questions of technology and world government are returning to the agenda of International Relations (IR), there is a risk that technology is approached in a simple, instrumentalist manner. Beginning from an overview of the overwhelmingly instrumental approaches to technology lodged in the dominant traditions of IR, the article revisits the post-war decades when scholars thought profoundly about the impact of technology on global politics. Combining the history of (international) political thought, IR theory, and Science and Technology Studies (STS) the article examines the relationship between technology and politics, authority, and liberty in the thought of Bertrand Russell (1872--1970) and John H. Herz (1908--2005), which leads to the unearthing of a sophisticated and complex set of ideas. Particularly during the nuclear revolution, these figures developed global visions in which the interrelations among technology, security, democracy, sustainability, and freedom were critical. Russell and Herz's approaches to technology and (global) politics are insightful and relevant for IR's attempt to re-engage with technology: by anticipating contemporary critical and reflexive approaches to technology, they can help bridge the fields of IR and STS and open new avenues for research. The Large Technical Systems (LTS) approach within STS is used to exemplify this possibility.

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Authors & Contributors
Wedeking, G. A.
Detlefsen, Michael
Landini, Gregory
Hunter, Graeme K.
Irvine, A. D.
Shanker, Stuart G.
Journals
Australian Journal of Politics and History
Cold War History
Technology and Culture
Journal of Contemporary History
Diplomatic History
History and Technology
Publishers
University of Toronto Press
Routledge
State University of New York Press
Harvard University Press
Oxford University Press
University of New Mexico Press
Concepts
Technology and politics
International relations
Nuclear weapons; atomic weapons
Cold War
Biographies
Communication technology
People
Russell, Bertrand Arthur William
Whitlam, Gough
Wrinch, Dorothy Maud
Pauling, Linus Carl
Places
United States
Great Britain
Europe
Australia
Canada
England
Times
20th century
20th century, late
21st century
19th century
20th century, early
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