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INTLPOL 296: Blueprint to Battlefield: Weapons Technology and Sociotechnical Change

War is a technological contest. Yet the development and workings of weapons technologies are commonly treated as the esoteric domain of scientists and engineers, rather than policymakers and policy analysts. Poor outcomes result when those who study, oversee, promote, or oppose the use of armaments fail to understand their origins, effects, and social meanings. This course explores weapons technologies as both material and social artifacts: how and why they are developed, the manner in which their proper uses and implications are contested, and the means by which they are proliferated or eliminated. Emphasis is placed on technologies central to modern global security, from the nuclear warhead to the machine gun, and on analytic tools for assessing their implications.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4
Instructors: Tracy, C. (PI)
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