Discussion Limited to Influence of
Science and Technology on
Social International Relations
Political Relations: Technology
Globalization of international relations began between 1500 and
1800. European colonialist inroads in Asia, Africa, and the
Americas were facilitated by the invention or adaptation of the
Improvements in Ship Design
Iron hulled steam ships of the 19th century enabled greater
geographical penetration into Africa and Asia expanding
European imperialism in those continents.
Political Relations: Technology of
the 19th Century
The following technological improvements of the 19th
century led to a revolution in imperialism.
Political Relations: Technology of
the 19th Century (continued)
Later developments including machine guns and
mushrooming bullets decimated resisters in Africa,
Asia and India.
Ironically, technology eventually played an important
part in the demise of political colonialism. The
miniaturization and mobility of many modern
weapons and weapon systems made it impossible to
prevent their diffusion. Thus colonialist advantages
in military technology proved short lived.
Technology and Contemporary Revolutions
with International Components
Iran 1979 Shiite Revolution
Soviet Union 1989 Glasnost and Perestroika
Science Technology and War in
the 20th Century
Weapons technology of the 20th century (poison gas, fighter
planes, tanks) caused major nation-states to link their national
civilian scientific and technological enterprises with their
respective military establishments.
In World War II thousands of German and American physicists and
engineers were mobilized by their governments and developed
V-2 rockets, proximity fuses, and radar.
In the U. S. it was the atomic bomb. Many contend that this single
development has had greater influence on international relations
than any other. One effect was the initiation of an arms race that
is unequaled in history. It caused billions of dollars from the
budgets of several countries to be directed toward military
The Growing Pressure to Internationalize
Political Decision Making
Scientific and Technological innovation and the consequences of it
have caused pressure to internationalize the political decision
International Government Policy is being focused increasingly on
issues engendered by scientific and technological activity.
Environmental Alteration (rain forest, acid rain, global
Discuss: Montreal Protocol and Kyoto Accord
International Economic Relations
1. Technology transfer within the disciplines of Science and
2. Technology may be transferred within a societal level from one
geographic location to another , usually for economic gain
3. Technology may be transferred from one societal level to
another societal level both intranationally and
internationally, ostensibly for development.
Assumptions about the Transfer
1. Any technology may be transferred, regardless of the definition
used for “Technology.” Whether or not it should be transferred,
however, is an entirely different matter.
2. Regardless of the purpose of the transfer, a technology always
involves the introduction of new technology to an area, place,
position, or process where it was not previously being applied.
3. By its very definition, a transfer will result in a change in
process, product, power, attitude, desires, etc.
4. For a transfer of technology to be viable in a new situation, a
process of adoption and diffusion is necessary.
Profiles of Adopter Types:
1. Innovators: First individuals to adopt
2. Early adopters: Younger, more educated, many are leaders in
3. Early Majority: First large group of adopters usually represents
the upper middle class of the community
4. Majority: This group represents the middle class of a local
society and constitutes the followers rather than the leaders.
This group accepts a new or transferred technology only after it
has been established as significantly better than older
5. Non-adaptors: Outside the mainstream of society, steadfastly
adhere to old methods even though another may be undeniably
Technology Transfer Problems:
1. Technology and Technics
2. The Embeddedness of Technology
3. Incompatibility of Transferred Technic and SCES of
4. Terms of Transfer
Alex Inkles’ seven concepts for characterizing emerging social structures.
Autarky: self contained, self sustaining, sociocultural system
Interconnectedness: frequency of communication interaction.
Communications and Transportation led to exponential increase in
Dependence: Reliance on item exchange that is more or less
indispensable to the survival of a system. U.S. reliance on Middle East
Integration: formerly autonomous unit surrenders vital function to another
Hegemony: forced integration - colonialism