Shelling from the ivory tower

Project Camelot and the post–World War II operationalization of social science

in Focaal
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This article is a historical examination of several watershed episodes in the militarization of US social science. It off ers an assessment of the actual “science” underpinning such initiatives as Project Camelot, and traces how American anthropology in its reaction to Project Camelot and Cold War studies moved from certain kinds of scientific/knowledge production toward others. By critiquing the intellectual foundations of Project Camelot alongside other examples of action-oriented social science, this article examines the connections between functionalism and the conceptual bias toward social order. What linked development, militarism, and imperialism was a more often than not oversimplified view of human behavior. In order to comprehend how models of development and modernization continue to shape American hegemony, this article scrutinizes a particular history of “military modernity.”

Focaal

Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology