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Security, Conflict and Cooperation in the Contemporary World

Civil Aviation and the Globalization of the Cold War

Authors: Svik, Peter

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  • Explores the highly complex and intertwined relationship between civil aviation, technological globalization and Cold War politics
  • Argues that the advancement of Soviet civil aircraft engineering triggered the globalization of the Cold War in the 1950s
  • Takes a global approach to the transfer of knowledge and technical expertise, offering a more nuanced perspective on the relationship between the Communist world, Western Europe and the US
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eBook $84.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-51603-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for Brazil
About this book

This book focuses on the highly complex and intertwined relationship between civil aviation, technological globalization and Cold War politics. It explores how the advancement of Soviet civil aircraft engineering during the 1950s technically triggered the globalization of the Cold War. The study also shows how the processes of technological standardization facilitated transfers of technology and knowledge across the Iron Curtain and how East-West as well as East-South connections evolved. It uncovers the motives and reasons for this transfer of knowledge and expertise, and aims to identify the specific roles played by states, international organizations and interpersonal networks. By taking a global approach to this history, the book advances ongoing debates in the field. It reassesses Europe’s role in the Cold War, pointing out the substantial differences in how Western Europe and the United States viewed the Communist world. This book will be of interest to scholars of international history, the history of technology and Cold War history.

About the authors

Peter Svik is Erwin Schrödinger Fellow at the International History Department at the Graduate Institute in Geneva and the Institute for Eastern European History at the University of Vienna, Austria. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the British Academy, the École normale supérieure and the Leibniz Institute for European History, as well as a Guggenheim Fellow at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, Gerda Henkel Fellow at the Historisches Kolleg in Munich and Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Tartu.  

Reviews

“This is a very original book about Cold War competition. In his innovative study, Peter Svik skilfully blends cold war history with the technological revolutions of the last half of the 20th century. Intense commercial and strategic competition between the US and the Soviet Union and their allies drove the development of new technologies for civilian as well as military aeroplane design. Structures, engines, and even flight routes were all shaped by this rivalry. Svik adds new dimensions to our understanding of these years, for the superpowers’ spirited competition not only generated rapid technological change, but ultimately revealed American technological superiority. At the same time, these policies also opened up civilian access to the wider world and so also contributed to the inexorable globalisation of the Cold War.” (Anne Deighton, Professor of European International Politics, University of Oxford, UK)

“Globally, those knowledgeable about aircraft and aviation will find Peter Svik’s study of Cold War jet transportation riveting. Rarely have the intricate “politics of technology” been so carefully and convincingly detailed and analyzed. In addition to exploring the complexities of USSR-USA competition over civilian air development, this research exposes subtle rivalries within the socialist Bloc and between UK and US corporations and governments.  The final irony is Svik’s revelation that Soviet technological incapacity crippled its aircraft projects just as fully as it undermined the USSR’s computing and spaceflight initiatives. A truly welcome monograph, drawing on remarkably-diverse archival and technical sources.” (Philip Scranton, Professor of the History of Industry and Technology, Rutgers University, USA)

“This is an important and consistently interesting book, its message reaching far beyond the circle of civil aviation enthusiasts. It shows that the Soviet aviation remained stuck in the late fifties and early sixties, at a time when its western competitors experienced great improvements in engineering, design, and use of new materials. The book offers technical details that are certain to satisfy the most discerning expert on the evolution of aircraft engines. However, its main message is political.  Svik shows that from the early sixties onward, the Soviet civilian realm stayed on autopilot, while the state focused primarily on improving its military assets. As the West rushed head on toward a new computer-based economy, the civilian sphere of the Communist bloc was trapped in the past. Svik, a rising star among Cold War historians, demonstrates that the East-West technological gap was one of the reasons for the Soviet bloc collapse from 1989 to 1991.” (Igor Lukes, Professor of History & International Relations, Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University, USA)

 “Competition in civil aviation was a fundamental aspect of the Cold War conflict over modernity.  This book is an excellent introduction to the most recent research on the topic and a reminder of how technological rivalries can influence international affairs.” (O.A. Westad, Elihu Professor of History and Global Affairs, Yale University, USA)

“This is a work of high quality that delves into the economic, political, ideological, and technological dimensions of civil aviation as an issue of contention between the superpowers during the Cold War. Providing unique insights into the Soviet position and Eastern bloc aviation in general, it shows that cooperation and cross-bloc interchange also occurred alongside the expected competition and conflict. A unique addition to our understanding of Cold War dynamics.” (Giles Scott-Smith, Roosevelt Chair in New Diplomatic History, Leiden University)

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for Brazil
  • ISBN 978-3-030-51603-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for Brazil

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Civil Aviation and the Globalization of the Cold War
Authors
Series Title
Security, Conflict and Cooperation in the Contemporary World
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-51603-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-51603-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-51602-4
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VII, 245
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics