Science and international security

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Always important, science and technology are playing an increasingly prominent role in international affairs. This chapter brings together strands of literature from Security Studies and STS to showcase how each has developed conceptual and empirical approaches to study the intersection between science, technology, and international security. The chapter is divided into two main sections. In the first section, it focuses on how Security Studies has addressed the implications of advances in nuclear technology on international politics. Nuclear weapons have stretched the destructiveness of modern technological war to the extreme. The section explores how concepts like the nuclear revolution, proliferation and arms control provided gateways into understanding the scope and implications of technological change defined by mutually assured destruction. The second section brings in approaches from STS that highlight the political and social constituents of technology, and which discursively ascribe meaning and significance to it. It provides a brief history charting some of the pioneering studies and key milestones that shaped the field’s outlook and trajectory. It also explores how thinking about ‘security’ has come to form part of the canon of STS from the social construction of military technology to the role of regimes of secrecy, ambiguity, and strategic ignorance in shaping security practices. The chapter finishes by briefly looking forward and setting out some of the key questions that will shape this space over the coming years.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAn Introduction to War Studies
EditorsMichael S. Goodman, Rachel Kerr, Matthew Moran
PublisherEdward Elgar
ISBN (Electronic)9781802203325
ISBN (Print)9781802203318
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

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