Workshop: Nuclear Diplomacies: Their Past, Present, and Future.

  1.  SOKENDAI’s Hayama Campus in Kanagawa, Japan, November 9-11,
  2.  National Technical University of Athens, Greece, June 2019

Editorial sponsorship: History + Technology, an international journal
supported by the History Department of Drexel University

Responding to the recent North Korea crisis the US President Donald
Trump tweeted on August 30, 2017 that “talking is not the answer.” Minutes
later the US Defense Secretary James Mattis argued to reporters, contradicting
President Trump’s statement that “We’re never out of diplomatic solutions.”
While the president undermines the role of diplomacy, diplomats and scientists
remind us in the blandest way the power of science diplomacy, one of the
emerging key elements of the Cold War era.
A turning point in the global socio-economic environment for science and
technology, the Cold War has been strongly connected to the rapid growth of
government and military spending on research and development; the
development of closer ties between the military and the academia; the
proliferation of large scale research projects. It was the time that international
relations began to play even more significant roles in shaping science and
technology than before, highlighting the role of diplomacy in resolving political
conflicts among nations with an emphasis on those dealing with nuclear energy
and military programs.
But although for scientists international collaborations have long been
constitutive and natural part of their work even in periods of intense political
upheavals, to diplomats and policy makers the institutional link of science to
diplomacy has been fairly new. In 2009 in a founding text the American
Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) described science diplomacy
through three types of activities: a. science informs issues of diplomatic concern
(science in diplomacy); b. diplomacy facilitates scientific cooperation on an
international level (diplomacy for science) and c. science functions as a
diplomatic tool when other diplomatic mechanisms fail (science for diplomacy).
A year later the British Royal Society organized a landmark meeting in
collaboration to the AAAS enforcing the idea that although science diplomacy is
not new, it has never been more important. Given the recent US-North Korean
conflict over the latter’s nuclear program, nuclear diplomacy emerges once again
as key in international relations.
This workshop seeks to bring together scholars working on the history of
nuclear sciences and the role of international organizations in shaping nuclear
diplomacy; diplomatic historians and political scientists focusing on the ways
nuclear scientists and engineers have contributed, and, continue to do so, in
international negotiations. We are interested in papers employing historical,
philosophical, sociological methods and methodological tools from political
sciences and international relations in order to

  • investigate the notion of nuclear diplomacy/ies and explore its various
    aspects including diplomacy concerning nuclear energy production as well as the
    circulation of related knowledge and materials;
  • critically analyze those national, political,economic, and technological
    interests that have shaped nuclear diplomacies throughout the post World War
    Period (without excluding earlier instances of nuclear diplomacies) understand the significance of nuclear diplomacies in today’s international geopolitical order and their future evolvement.

Possible topics include, but not limited to, nuclear diplomacy in and
around international organizations such as IAEA; bilateral negotiations as well as
public diplomacy in relation to exchange of material and human resources;
science diplomacy concerning radiation protection, nuclear safeguards, and
technical assistance programs; and the historical role of diplomats and
science/technical experts in negotiating nuclear agreements.
This workshop is also concerned with the historical formulation of
nuclear issues as a discrete diplomatic and cultural concern. This concern may
point to conducts beyond the official actions of institutions and states, and the
possibility of yet to be identified material and discursive factors in those
conducts. We welcome papers examining historically indeterminate nature of
nuclear knowledge, subjects, and power.
The first workshop takes place in SOKENDAI’s Hayama Campus in
Kanagawa, Japan, which is located approximately two hours from the Haneda
Airport. Accommodations and meals will be provided, but participants are
responsible to fund their transportation.
Paper proposals (no more than 400 words) are due February 15th, 2018.
Participants will be notified by mid-March 2018. Those accepted are expected
to submit full first draft papers on August 30, 2018.
A second-follow up workshop will take place in June 2019 in Athens,
Greece where full papers are expected to be submitted and presented. The two workshops will lead to the publication of a peer review collected volume.

Launching a pilot effort we call editorial sponsorship, the editors
of History + Technology will provide editorial support during the two workshops,
with the aim of helping participants produce manuscripts for a special issue of
the journal based on the project’s themes, and for submission to other
For inquiries, please contact:
Maria Rentetzi
Kenji Ito

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