Justifying Ballistic Missile Defence: Technology, Security and Culture

Justifying Ballistic Missile Defence: Technology, Security and Culture

by Columba Peoples
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0521113296

ISBN-13: 9780521113298

Pub. Date: 12/10/2009

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Technology is championed as the solution to modern security problems, but also blamed as their cause. This book assesses the way in which these two views collide in the debate over ballistic missile defense: a complex, costly and controversial system intended to defend the United States from nuclear missile attacks. Columba Peoples shows how, in the face of

Overview

Technology is championed as the solution to modern security problems, but also blamed as their cause. This book assesses the way in which these two views collide in the debate over ballistic missile defense: a complex, costly and controversial system intended to defend the United States from nuclear missile attacks. Columba Peoples shows how, in the face of strong scientific and strategic critique, advocates of missile defense seek to justify its development by reference to broader culturally embedded perceptions of the promises and perils of technological development. Unpacking the assumptions behind the justification of missile defense initiatives, both past and present, this book illustrates how common-sense understandings of technology are combined and used to legitimate this controversial and costly defense program. In doing so it engages fundamental debates over understandings of technological development, human agency and the relationship between technology and security.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521113298
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
12/10/2009
Series:
Cambridge Studies in International Relations Series, #112
Pages:
318
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements viii

List of abbreviations x

Introduction 1

Part 1 Technology, security and culture 9

1 Critical theory, security and technology 11

2 Technology and common sense in America 46

Part 2 Post-war missile defence 75

3 Defence in the missile age? 77

4 Post-war missile defence and the language of technological fears 99

Part 3 The Strategic Defense Initiative 123

5 The Strategic Defense Initiative and America's technological heritage 125

6 'Star Wars' and technological determinism 153

Part 4 Contemporary missile defence 179

7 Ballistic missile defence: 'Technology, working for you now' 181

8 The iron cage of proliferation 215

Conclusion: common sense and the strategic use of 'technology' 249

Bibliography 275

Index 294

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