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Chain Reaction : Expert Debate and Public Participation in American Commercial Nuclear Power 1945-1975 - Brian Balogh

Chain Reaction

Expert Debate and Public Participation in American Commercial Nuclear Power 1945-1975

Paperback

Published: 25th April 1994
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Chain Reaction is a work of recent American political history. It seeks to explain how and why America came to depend so heavily on its experts after World War II, how those experts translated that authority into political clout, and why that authority and political discretion declined in the 1970s. Brian Balogh's pathbreaking research into the internal memoranda of the Atomic Energy Commission substantiates his argument in impressive historical detail. It was not the ravages of American anti-intellectualism, as so many scholars have argued, that brought the experts back down to earth. Rather, their decline can be traced to the very roots of their success after World War II. The need to overstate anticipated results in order to garner public support, incessant professional and bureaucratic specialization, and the sheer proliferation of expertise pushed arcane and insulated debates between experts into public forums at the same time that a broad cross section of political participants found it easier to gain access to their own expertise. These tendencies ultimately undermined the political clout of all experts.

'This book is much more than a case study of nuclear power policy in the US ... (it) combines historical research over a 30-year period (1945-1975), with an expert understanding of the literature on bureaucracy, on the roles of scientists and the citizenry in the policy process, and on the policy economy of post-industrial policy-making. All students of policy formation thus will find Balogh's book thought provoking. How refreshing it is to find a policy scholar who knows history and can write well.' Political Studies

Acknowledgments
Professionalisation and politics in twentieth-century America: from fission to fusion
The promise of the proministrative state: nuclear experts and national politics, 1945-1947
Forging an iron triangle: the politics of verisimilitude
Triangulating demand: the AEC's first decade of commercialisation
The centrifugal push of expertise: reactor safety, 1947-1960
The magnetic pull of professional disciplines, issue networks and local government
Nuclear experts on top, not on tap: mainstreaming expertise, 1957-1970
Nuclear experts everywhere: the challenge to nuclear power, 1960-1975
Conclusion: harnessing political chain reactions
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521457361
ISBN-10: 052145736X
Series: Expert Debate and Public Participation in American Commercia
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 356
Published: 25th April 1994
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.52