Managing Systemic Convergence. American Multilateral Bridge Building in Europe during the 1960s and Early 1970s
Issue: Issue No. 20 (2013)
Page Range: 135-168
No. of Pages: 34
Keywords: bridge building, Cold War, ECE, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, NATO, OECD, United States
Summary/Abstract: Scholars have usually seen American bridge building policies in a bilateral context applied towards Eastern Europe. Equally, the discussion of modernization theories confines it to the Third World or a non-European context. The author shows that the bridge building policies pursued by the Johnson Administration had a strong multilateral and method driven dimension that led to the establishment of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). Rooted in national security calculations, multilateral bridge building was closely connected with the social discourse on modernization and social convergence during the 1960s and 1970s. The negotiation process revealed that the American way of modernization was not endorsed by the Europeans, and thus needed bridge building also in West Europe. By applying Peter Haas’ epistemic community theory framework in the context of Benedict Anderson’s ideas on nations as imagined communities, the author asks if the failures of overcoming the Cold War in the 1960s and 1970s can be interpreted as an American overextension of both epistemic and national limits. To grasp the historical background for IIASA the analysis includes other involved multilateral organizations, the OECD, ECE and NATO.
Open access on CEEOL: NO
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