Joy Rohde, University of Michigan
Pax Technologica: Computers, International Affairs, and Human Reason in the Age of American Hegemony
During the 1970s, a team of U.S. Defense Department-funded political scientists and computer specialists designed an automated, computerized information system that could ostensibly forecast conflict earlier and more accurately than human analysts. Named the Crisis Early Warning and Monitoring System (EWAMS), it sought to bring international relations scholarship and U.S. national security policy-traditionally qualitative and iterpretive domains-under the jurisdiction of machines. Drawing together the histories of social science, computing, and foreign policy, this presentation uses the example of EWAMS to examine the intellectual and policy implications of debates over reason, rationality, and the limits of human cognition in an age of anxiety about the decline of American global power.