Cold War Social Science Knowledge Production, Liberal Democracy, and Human Nature

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-01-23
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

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From World War II to the early 1970s, American social science research expanded in dramatic and unprecedented fashion. This volume offers fascinating perspectives on the rise of U.S. practitioners as global leaders in the field, exploring how, why, and with what consequences this rapid and yet contested expansion depended on the entanglement of the social sciences with Cold War politics. Utilizing the controversial but useful concept of 'Cold War social science,' the histories gathered here reveal how scholars from established disciplines and new interdisciplinary fields of study made important contributions to long-standing debates about knowledge production, liberal democracy, and human nature.

Author Biography

Mark Solovey is Assistant Professor in the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at the University of Toronto, Canada, and for 2011-2012 a Charles Warren Fellow at Harvard University, USA. His research focuses on the political, institutional, and intellectual history of the social sciences in the United States since WWII. He has several articles in scholarly journals, including Annals of Science, History of Political Economy, Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, Radical History Review, and Social Studies of Science. He is the author of Shaky Foundations: The Politics-Patronage-Social Science Nexus in Cold War America (2013).

Hamilton Cravens is Professor Emeritus of History at Iowa State University, USA, and writes about science in American culture and the tensions between expertise and democracy. He has authored or edited a dozen books, including The Triumph of Evolution (1978, 1988), Before Head Start (1993, 2003), The Social Sciences Go To Washington (2005), Race and Science: Scientific Challenges to Racism in America (2010), as well as about sixty articles and chapters in books. His most recent book is Imagining The Good Society: The Social Sciences in the American Past and Present (2012).

Table of Contents

Foreword: Positioning Social Science in Cold War America; T.M.Porter
1. Cold War Social Science: Spectre, Reality, or Useful Concept?; M.Solovey
2. The Rise and Fall of Wartime Social Science: Harvard's Refugee Interview Project, 1950-54; D.C.Engerman
3. Futures Studies: A New Social Science Rooted in Cold War Strategic Thinking; K.Tolon
4. 'It was All Connected': Computers and Linguistics in Early Cold War America; J.Martin-Nielsen
5. Epistemic Design: Theory and Data in Harvard's Department of Social Relations; J.Isaac
6. Producing Reason; H.Heyck
7. Column Right, March! Nationalism, Scientific Positivism, and the Conservative Turn of the American Social Sciences in the Cold War Era; H.Cravens
8. From Expert Democracy to Beltway Banditry: How the Anti-War Movement Expanded the Military-Academic-Industrial Complex; J.Rohde
9. Neo-Evolutionist Anthropology, the Cold War, and the Beginnings of the World Turn in U.S. Scholarship; H.Brick
10. Maintaining Humans; E.Jones-Imhotep
11. Psychology, Psychologists, and the Creativity Movement: The Lives of Method Inside and Outside the Cold War; M.Bycroft
12. An Anthropologist on TV: Ashley Montagu and the Biological Basis of Human Nature, 1945-1960; N.Weidman
13. Cold War Emotions: The War over Human Nature; M.Vicedo

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