Modernization as Ideology: American Social Science and by Michael E. Latham

By Michael E. Latham

Offering new perception at the highbrow and cultural dimensions of the chilly conflict, Michael Latham unearths how social technology concept contributed to shaping American overseas coverage throughout the Kennedy management. He exhibits how, in the course of America's protracted fight to comprise communism within the constructing global, the idea that of world modernization moved past its beginnings in academia to develop into a motivating ideology in the back of coverage decisions.After tracing the increase of modernization thought in American social technology, Latham analyzes the way in which its center assumptions inspired the Kennedy administration's Alliance for development with Latin the United States, the construction of the Peace Corps, and the strategic hamlet software in Vietnam. yet as he demonstrates, modernizers went past insisting at the relevance of America's event to the dilemmas confronted by means of impoverished nations. trying to speed up the circulation of international societies towards a liberal, democratic, and capitalist modernity, Kennedy and his advisers additionally reiterated a far deeper feel in their personal nation's very important strengths and crucial benevolence. on the top of the chilly warfare, Latham argues, modernization recast older ideologies of show up future and imperialism.

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The delegate sent by Whitehall to the 1863 conference – Dr William Rutherford, Deputy Inspector of Hospitals attached to the War Office – was chosen at the last minute, spoke little French and was briefed that he was attending a sanitary conference, not, as he soon found out, a meeting of ‘a kind of international amateur society to assist the sick and wounded’. He was also given instructions to abstain from participation in the discussions, take notes on the views of others and report back. 6 This order to remain detached from proceedings turned out to be well advised.

46 Although the British had always been thoughtful in their consideration of new IHL, dating back to the discussions between the Admiralty and the Foreign Office over the 1868 amendments, it was the processes at The Hague, the calls for a new Geneva Convention and the sense of distrust of the ICRC to handle the latter that sparked not only a greater level of engagement and consideration but also a firmer sense that Britain could and should ‘own’ the process of IHL development. 47 The sinews of this policy of dominating the ‘Geneva Project’, however, can be traced back to the drafting process of the preceding Geneva Convention of 1906.

A glance at the Committee in the post-war years is illustrative of this. At the time the LRCS was formed the ICRC was led by the 74-year-old Gustav Ador, a 40 Britain and the ICRC 40-year veteran of the Committee and nephew of its co-founder, Gustav Moynier, who had only vacated the presidency when he passed away in 1910, nine weeks before Dunant. The death of the ICRC’s founders and the coming of Davison’s League did engender some changes in the Committee’s leadership, albeit tempered by familiarity.

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