By Joy Rohde

During the peak of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon introduced a arguable counterinsurgency application referred to as the Human Terrain process. this system embedded social scientists inside of army devices to supply commanders with information regarding the cultures and grievances of neighborhood populations. but the debate it encouraged used to be no longer new. a long time previous, comparable nationwide defense matters introduced the dep. of security and American social scientists jointly within the look for highbrow guns that can strive against the unfold of communism in the course of the chilly warfare. In Armed with Expertise, pleasure Rohde strains the confident upward push, anguished fall, and wonderful rebirth of chilly War–era military-sponsored social research.

Seeking professional wisdom that may permit the us to include communism, the Pentagon became to social scientists. starting within the Nineteen Fifties, political scientists, social psychologists, and anthropologists expectantly utilized their services to army difficulties, confident that their paintings might increase democracy all over the world. As Rohde indicates, through the overdue Sixties, progressively more students and activists condemned Pentagon-funded social scientists as handmaidens of a technocratic battle kingdom and sought to dispose of military-sponsored study from American highbrow life.

But the Pentagon's social learn initiatives had extraordinary institutional momentum and highbrow flexibility. rather than severing their ties to the army, the Pentagon’s specialists relocated to a burgeoning community of non-public consulting corporations and for-profit learn places of work. Now protected from public scrutiny, they endured to steer nationwide defense affairs. additionally they different their portfolios to incorporate the learn of family difficulties, together with city violence and racial clash. In studying the controversies over chilly battle social technology, Rohde unearths the chronic militarization of yankee political and highbrow existence, a phenomenon that keeps to elevate grave questions about the connection among specialist wisdom and American democracy.

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