Civil Defence in the Cold War West

In this collective project we aim to advance civil defence history by bringing different national histories together within a common analytical framework that (1) enhances our understanding of similarities and differences of national civil defence efforts as well as of transnational dynamics and (2) places special emphasis on the interplay between technology, materiality, culture, and politics in civil defence.

 

Our theoretical starting point here is the concept of “socio-technical imaginaries” developed by Sheila Jasanoff and Sand-Hyun Kim (2015).

In its latest incarnation, Jasanoff has defined STIs as: “collectively held, institutionally stabilized, and publicly performed visions of desirable futures, animated by shared understandings of forms of social life and social order attainable through, and supportive of, advances in science and technology” (Jasanoff 2015a, 4).

In collaboration with distinguished historians of civil defence from the The Civil Defense History Network, we seek to develop the transnational and comparative dimensions of civil defence history. We will be hosting two workshops in 2019 and 2020 with the aim of publishing the fruits of our collective efforts.

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