Article ID: CBB708080714

The co-production of nuclear science and diplomacy: Towards a transnational understanding of nuclear things (2021)


Kenji Ito (Author)
Rentetzi, Maria (Author)

History and Technology
Volume: 37
Issue: 1
Pages: 4-20

Publication Date: 2021
Edition Details: Special Issue: Nuclear Diplomacies
Language: English

This paper proposes diplomatic studies of science as a new field of research, which sheds light on actual diplomatic processes as an integral part of knowledge making and presents the notion of nuclear science and diplomacy as co-produced. Science and diplomacy display fundamental similarities: scientists attempt to make knowledge produced locally seem global, thereby achieving universal epistemic order, while diplomats endeavour to maintain political order on a global scale that accommodates the local concerns of their country. In particular, the co-production of nuclear knowledge and political nuclear order has characterised the post-World War Two period. Hence, the making of global political orders includes the emergence of relevant diplomatic actors, which comprise not only sovereign states but also non-state actors, such as international organisations or individual experts. This paper claims that nuclear history provides a suitable ground for cross-fertilisation between the history of science and diplomatic history.

Associated with

Article Gabriella Ivacs (2021) From paper files to terabytes: The evolution of IAEA documentation in the nuclear age. History and Technology (pp. 21-24). unapi

Article Alexandros-Andreas Kyrtsis; Maria Rentetzi (2021) From lobbyists to backstage diplomats: How insurers in the field of third party liability shaped nuclear diplomacy. History and Technology (pp. 25-43). unapi

Article Fintan Hoey (2021) The ‘conceit of controllability’: nuclear diplomacy, Japan’s plutonium reprocessing ambitions and US proliferation fears, 1974-1978. History and Technology (pp. 44-66). unapi

Article Kenji Ito (2021) Three tons of uranium from the International Atomic Energy Agency: Diplomacy over nuclear fuel for the Japan Research Reactor-3 at the Board of Governors’ meetings, 1958–1959. History and Technology (pp. 67-89). unapi

Article Gisela Mateos; Edna Suárez-Díaz (2021) Atomic Ambassadors: The IAEA’s First Preliminary Assistance Mission (1958). History and Technology (pp. 90-105). unapi

Article Anna Åberg (2021) The ways and means of ITER: Reciprocity and compromise in fusion science diplomacy. History and Technology (pp. 106-124). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Zofka, Jan
Miller, Clark A.
Mausbach, Wilfried
Morris, David B.
Junker, Detlef
Gassert, Philipp
Cold War History
History and Technology
The Journal of Transport History
Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Technology's Stories
Technology and Culture
Cambridge University Press
Palgrave Macmillan
University of California, San Diego
Bathtub Row Press
University of Massachusetts Press
Manchester University Press
Cold War
Foreign relations; diplomacy
Transnational history
International cooperation
International relations
Land transportation
Krushchev, Nikita
Qian Xuesen
Time Periods
20th century
21st century
20th century, late
United States
Soviet Union
Berlin (Germany)
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration
United States Air Force

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