Technology and 'the international' or: how I learned to stop worrying and love determinism

McCarthy, Daniel (2013) Technology and 'the international' or: how I learned to stop worrying and love determinism. Millennium, 41 (3). pp. 470-490. ISSN 0305-8298

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Abstract

Technological determinism as a theory of social change has been thoroughly tarnished in social theory, science and technology studies, and the discipline of International Relations. If once claims to an ahistorical development of technology (e.g. Cohen 1978) were treated with significant respect, this is no longer the case. Indeed, it is by now a ritual to disclaim any notion of technological determinism in theories of international relations and the non-human world (Peoples 2010; Herrera 2006; McCarthy 2011). Yet we must be careful of not throwing out the power of technological determinations with the teleological bathwater. This paper attempts to develop a sociological account of technological determinism as dependent upon ‘the international’. I will argue that technological determinism operates due to the presence of multiple political communities. Technological determinism is thereby reconceptualised as a distinct form of power in international politics.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology > HM0831 Social change
J Political Science > JZ International relations
J Political Science > JZ International relations > JZ1249 Relation to other disciplines and topics
T Technology > T Technology (General) > T0173.2 Technological change
Depositing User: Daniel McCarthy
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2013 13:59
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2014 15:20
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/44029
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