ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Ferment in the US Backyard

Across Latin America, countries and governments are asserting in many ways their autonomy from the US. This is part of a larger process of ferment in the region. Driven by massive increases in inequality, a visible and potentially explosive social crisis, the rise of new globally-conscious elites, and the growing political dissensus about neo-liberalism as a long-run strategy of economic development, a new social compact is being shaped in Latin America.

New Histories of Cold War

A number of 'Cold War History' projects now underway in the US and elsewhere open up the possibility of re-evaluating key moments in the diplomatic history of this period as well as providing a better understanding of relations between key figures and institutions.

Notes toward a Global Nuclear History

This article argues that a discourse of 'control', authored by the overlapping narratives of academic proliferation studies and US anti-proliferation policy, has come to dominate our understanding of nuclear histories. This discourse, with its primary purpose of seeking to predict which countries are likely to build nuclear weapons and thereby to threaten the prevailing military-strategic status quo, has narrowed the gaze of nuclear historians. Among its effects has been to minimise the importance of the discovery of atomic fission as a 'world historical' event and to impoverish our recognition of the fluidity of international affairs in the decade following the end of the second world war. We are concerned about the tendency to see nuclear histories as, above all, 'national' histories, and, to privilege concerns about the development of nuclear 'weapons' over a fuller and more nuanced understanding of what nuclear programmes mean and why they matter. We propose that paying attention to the scientific-technological underpinnings of nuclear programmes offers an alternative path, opening up new archives and insights into the making of 'national' nuclear programmes which might have important other, even non-belligerent, ends. This article points to the varieties and importance of international collaboration in the making of 'national' programmes, and shows how weapons-building is by no means a universal end of all nuclear programmes.

Science and Secrecy in Making of Postcolonial State

While much is made about the current status of India as a nuclear power very little is known about the histories which enabled this fateful outcome. This article fills the remarkable knowledge of the history of the Indian atomic energy commission, especially the period between 1947 and are early 1960s, when the AEC's shift from a civilian development-related enterprise to a national security agency was made. However, rather than see the atomic energy enterprise as an independent state activity, the article treats atomic energy as a key part of the larger effort of the postcolonial state to create a new site of legitimacy for itself after independence. Driven by the state's crisis of ideology, it is argued that the history of the A EC is embedded within a time/space dialectic captured by the terms urgency and secrecy which reinforce each other in an unstable dynamic and which cannot be sustained.


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