Entangled Geographies: Empire and Technopolitics in the Global Cold War

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Overview

The Cold War was not simply a duel of superpowers. It took place not just inWashington and Moscow but also in the social and political arenas of geographically far-flung countries emerging from colonial rule. Moreover, Cold War tensions were manifest not only in global political disputes but also in struggles over technology. Technological systems and expertise offered a powerful way to shape countries politically, economically, socially, and culturally.

Entangled Geographiesexplores how Cold War politics, imperialism, and postcolonial nation building became entangled in technologies and considers the legacies of those entanglements for today's globalized world. The essays address such topics as the islands and atolls taken over for military and technological purposes by the supposedly non-imperial United States, apartheid-era SouthAfrica's efforts to achieve international legitimacy as a nuclear nation, international technical assistance and Cold War politics, the Saudi irrigation system that spurred a Shi'i rebellion, and the momentary technopolitics of emergency as practiced by Medecins sans Frontières. The contributors to Entangled Geographies offer insights from the anthropology and history of development, from diplomatic history, and from science and technology studies. The book represents a unique synthesis of these three disciplines, providing new perspectives on the global Cold War.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"As always with a good collection of scholarly studies such as this, a brief review cannot discuss all of the contributions, each of which deserves notice." — DominicAlexander, Counterfire

"Hecht and her contributors have made an important contribution to scholarship that suggests new directions for the study of the history of technology, integrating it into diplomatic history, international relations, and colonial and post-colonial studies. This collection of articles, bound together by the editor's suggestive concept of technopolitics, refuses a hegemonic tradition that places the West and US—USSR rivalry at the core of the Cold War. It is also of contemporary importance, since several chapters engage with various forms of Islamic resistance toWestern models of development and domination. Innovative and engaged, it will appeal to scholars in many different intellectual disciplines." John Krige , Kranzberg Professor,School of History, Technology, and Society, Georgia Institute of Technology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262515788
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 4/4/2011
  • Series: Inside Technology
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,472,427
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Gabrielle Hecht is Professor of History at the University of Michigan. She is the author ofThe Radiance of France: Nuclear Power and National Identity after World War II(MIT Press).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

1 Introduction Gabrielle Hecht 1

2 Islands: The United States as a Networked Empire Ruth Oldenziel 13

3 The Uses of Portability: Circulating Experts in the Technopolitics of Cold War and Decolonization Donna Mehos Suzanne Moon 43

4 On the Fallacies of Cold War Nostalgia: Capitalism, Colonialism, and South African Nuclear Geographies Gabrielle Hecht 75

5 Rare Earths: The Cold War in the Annals of Travancore Itty Abraham 101

6 Nuclear Colonization?: Soviet Technopolitics in the Second World Sonja D. Schmid 125

7 The Technopolitical Lineage of State Planning in Hungary, 1930-1956 Martha Lampland 155

8 Fifty Years' Progress in Five: Brasilia-Modernization, Globalism, and the Geopolitics of Flight Lars Denicke 185

9 Crude Ecology: Technology and the Politics of Dissent in Saudi Arabia Toby C. Jones 209

10 A Plundering Tiger with Its Deadly Cubs? The USSR and China as Weapons in the Engineering of a "Zimbabwean Nation," 1945-2009 Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga 231

11 Cleaning Up the Cold War: Global Humanitarianism and the Infrastructure of Crisis Response Peter Redfield 267

Bibliography 293

About the Authors 329

Index 331

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