Article ID: CBB587905950

Life after the Bomb: Nuclear Fear, Science, and Security Politics in Switzerland in the 1980s (2020)


At the beginning of the 1980s, global aftermath studies prompted new perceptions of a nuclear war’s long-term effects on Planet Earth. Focusing on the Swiss ‘Weiterleben’ (‘to live on’) study, which translated these findings into a local context, the paper sheds light on the intertwined history of global politics, science, national security debates, and nuclear fear. It reveals important socio-political and epistemic shifts in the 1980s. Even in countries with comprehensive civil defence systems like Switzerland, the idea that a nuclear war was manageable came to an end; new forms of planning and types of scientific reasoning evolved that superseded ‘Cold War rationality’; and, finally, emotions became a crucial political factor.

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Authors & Contributors
Krugler, David F.
Strasser, Bruno J.
Joye-Cagnard, Frédéric
Grant, Matthew
Williams, Hill
Jameson, Robert P.
Technikgeschichte: Beiträge zur Geschichte der Technik und Industrie
Air Power History
Cold War History
Technology and Culture
Palgrave Macmillan
Washington State University Press
University of Minnesota Press
Harvard University Press
Verlag Ferdinand Schöningh
Cold War
Technology and war; technology and the military
Nuclear weapons; atomic weapons
Civil defense
Technology and society
National security
Papandreou, Andreas
Eisenhower, Dwight David
Time Periods
20th century
20th century, late
21st century
United States
Soviet Union
Washington, D. C. (U.S.)
Great Britain
Hanford Nuclear Site (Washington)
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
Nuclear Test Ban Treaty; Partial Test Ban Treaty; Limited Test Ban Treaty (1963)
United States Air Force

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