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WP6. Security

How does science diplomacy come into play in addressing national and global security issues? Historiographical studies have centered primarily on the United States in their relations with major European countries. Pioneering work on North American hegemony in the post-WWII reconstruction of European science has argued emphatically that Cold War science and technology were used by the US as political weapons. The quest for political leadership and for scientific pre-eminence actually drove American global foreign policy (Krige, 2006). Political scientists have often emphasized the role of science in key negotiations (Goldschmidt, 2010; Littoz-Monnet, 2015), while the upcoming generation of historians and historians of science has focused on the role of international organizations in shaping global politics (Turchetti, 2012; Rentetzi, forthcoming).

After WWII and especially after the Chernobyl nuclear accident, Europe’s tradition of international scientific cooperation for peace and excellence has been gradually displaced by scientific cooperation as an instrument of security in a complex global context. As security and stability rely more and more on international cooperation, information-sharing, and technological solutions, new understandings are formed both of security, and of the interactions between policy-making and scientific advancement. WP6-Security traces this double transformation, including the need created for diplomats and scientists to test and refine new practices. Bringing together history and sociology of science, international history, and history of diplomacy, WP6 moves beyond the standard narratives and focuses on European actors and emergent security issues, among them border management. It critically examines the conditions of circulation of scientific knowledge through diplomatic channels.