Cold War Social and Behavioral Sciences: International and Transnational Entanglements I

Friday, 20 July 2018: 15:30-17:20
RC08 History of Sociology (host committee)

Language: English

The history of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) during the Cold War era has seen increasing interest throughout the last decade. While important progress has been made toward a more balanced assessment of the interrelations between the Cold War era and the SBS, the literature still shows some deficits. Chief among these deficits are the dominance of US-centered accounts and the lack of comparative studies. To some sociological observers, whether justified or not, another deficit is the alleged lack of sensibility towards the theoretical or methodological content of SBS ideas, since the literature has been mainly written by historians. Historians, in turn, tend to criticize the sociologists’ lack for details and, sometimes, a mild form of political naiveté.

We seek papers that address the aforementioned deficits by historians (i.e., intellectual historians, diplomatic historians, etc.), historians of the social and behavioral sciences (including but not limited to historians of the particular disciplines such as sociology or political science), and sociologists (i.e., sociologists of science, sociologists of higher education, etc.). By bringing into conversation works from these various vantage points, this session seeks to investigate and illuminate the international and transnational dimensions of Cold War social and behavioral science more fully than has been the case so far.

Session Organizers:
Christian DAYÉ, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Austria and Mark SOLOVEY, University of Toronto, Canada
Mark SOLOVEY, University of Toronto, Canada
Oral Presentations
Cold War Social Sciences Beyond Academia: The Case of Radio Free Europe As a Social-Scientific Research Institution
Simon OTTERSBACH, International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture Giessen, Germany
From the United States to the Soviet Union and Back Again: A Transatlantic Story of Machine Learning
Olessya KIRTCHIK, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russian Federation