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Download Mandarins of the Future Modernization Theory in Cold War America New Studies in American Intellectual Cultural History Book Ú 329 pages ð Dogsalonbristol ↠ ❰Read❯ ➵ Mandarins ofBecause it provided the dominant framework for development of poor postcolonial countries modernization theory ranks among the most important constructs of 20th century social science In this book Nils Gilman offers an intellectual history of a movement that has had far reaching and often unintended conseuences postwar sense of global mission Gilman offers a close analysis of the people who did the most to promote i Nils Gilman is a professor of intellectual history at University of San Francisco and the Director of Research for Monitor 360 In Mandarins of the Future Gilman traces the rise of modernization theory as the center of postwar American social science its evolution toward authoritative ideologies and policies and its eventual fall from political and social thought From the beginning modernization theory was rooted in uncertainty In postwar America modernization theory reflected conflicting sides of the 1950s the self congratulatory optimism of a war won and the domestic and international anxiety of the Cold War Modernity held optimism about the future but also fear that it may all tumble down This conflict and its evolution is the central argument of Mandarins In the first two chapters Gilman introduces modernization theory drawing a distinction between “modern” and “modernization” and intimately connecting the two to the discourse on development Drawing from sociologist Edward Shils Gilman explains “modern” as geographically removed from but influenced by the West without the onus of following the West Modernization theory in Gilman’s words posited the “existence of a common and essential pattern of ‘development’ defined by progress in technology military and bureaucratic institutions and the political and social structure 82 83 The American ideological goal of development was for others to emulate the United States and create industrialized and competitive democracy under the watchful eye of US appointed elites The elites held the task of imposing social economic and cultural norms upon the masses The United States was a modernized country with modern elites and therefore should take up the task through its modernization theorists the people whom communications specialist Ithiel de Sola Pool called the mandarins of the future those whose ethic of responsibility put them beyond the uestioning of the ‘reasonable strata’ of the public” 152 154 The goal was not isolated to economic democracy but permeated society through culture art and music thus blurring the line between the modern and modernization Modernization theory became the foreign policy counterpart to social modernism the idea that a meliorist rationalizing benevolent technocratic state could solve all social and especially economic ills 260 261 Gilman reasons that mandarins came in three flavors a technocosmopolitan flavor which argued that modernity must be built on the foundations of tradition; a revolutionary flavor which argued that modernization reuired a radical rupture with tradition; and an authoritarian flavor which argued that radical rupture could take place only through the force of a centralizing and omniscient state Gilman connects the manifestation of modernization theory and its flavors through three case studies or “mandarins of the future” Harvard University’s Department of Social Relations DSR the Committee on Comparative Politics CCP of the Social Science Research Council SSRC and the Center for International Studies CIS at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology The first mandarin is Harvard’s Talcott Parsons Gilman views Parsons as the foundation to modernization theory arguing that he articulated modernity and the project of modernization theory “better earlier and thoroughly than anyone else” 1034 The DSR at Harvard aimed to forge a universal science of society a goal largely driven by the appeal of Parsons to postcolonial issues More importantly Parson’s interpretation of Weber’s “Spirit of Capitalism” provided anticommunist theorists a way to replace the relationship between Marx and economic change Once the reinterpreted Weberian theory tainted with subtle strains of Marxism permeated political institutions such as the CCP it took on a darker strategic tone Under the methodological guidance of political scientist Gabriel Almond modernization theory shifted from social science theory to a social economic and political Enlightenment project for the postcolonial world Gilman’s chapter on MIT is the highlight of the book Gilman argues it was not the Cold War or trade agreements that led the United States to support dictators in the developing word It was he argues the evolution of modernization theory into a vehemently anticommunist and militaristic initiative As a representative of the CIS economist Walt Whitman Rostow’s advisory role to Washington laid the foundation for counterinsurgency strategies in Latin America Southeast Asia and Africa and advocated of military dictatorships as an apparatus of “consensus building” and modernization The three case studies reveal an evolution of modernization theory from abstract Parsonian social theory to Almond’s political development to Rostow’s elitist policy recommendations Though Gilman explains how threads of technocosmopolitan revolutionary and authoritarian flavors persisted throughout the early years of the Cold War it ultimately shifted to emphasize authoritarian ideologies This shift Gilman argues represents “in miniature the tragedy of postwar American liberalism” 206 The following chapters delve into the application of modernization theory as foreign policy doctrine and its subseuent collapse Gilman argues that modernization theory ultimately helped lead American policy makers into irrevocable and terrible mistakes most notably the Vietnam War By the 1980s modernization theory was discredited and those who continued to subscribe to its doctrine were ill informed and backward thinking Gilman challenges the widespread view that modernization theory was a conservative ideology Instead he argues that it was the manifestation of American postwar liberalism and it must be understood within that context As liberal confidence in modernity declined confidence in modernization theory did too Despite the slow death of modernization theory and its ambivalent revival Gilman’s work is optimistic Modernization theory was not fundamentally malevolent; it did however hold a flawed idealistic assumption that western modernization was universal The problem is the way in which modernization theory has been executed not in the theory itself He stresses that we must be careful not to let the failures of modernity push us into the “cultural despair 3673 of postmodernism Gilman criticizes postmodernism claiming it hides behind false humanitarian rhetoric cloaked in abstract concepts and statistics in order to extend capitalism and power over poor countries Postmodernism is hopeless and there is “a hopeful moment in the contemporary geopolitical discourse of modernity”3685 Gilman insists that modernist social democracy reuires a universal community of humankind that has at is very foundation expanded mandates of social justice Ultimately according to Gillman modernization theory is not wholly pessimistic and something can be salvaged from the idealist project of development if the human welfare motivations of liberal modernization theorists are able to place a greater emphasis on human rights within the framework of democracy In the end Gilman’s book is a historiography of modernization theory with a final message of hope for its renewal in democratically and compassionately meeting the challenges of globalization

Nils Gilman ✓ Mandarins of the Future Modernization Theory in Cold War America New Studies in American Intellectual Cultural History Book

T in the United States and the academic institutions they came to dominate He first explains how Talcott Parsons at Harvard constructed a social theory that challenged the prevailing economics centred understanding of the modernization process then describes the work of Edward Shils and Gabriel Almond in helping Parsonsian ideas triumph over other alternative conceptions of the development process and finally discus In Mandarins of the Future Nils Gilman provides detailed insight into the formation development and eventual collapse of modernization theory placing it into the context of the Cold War Gilman's main goal is to demonstrate that modernization theory – a model for dealing with post colonial third world countries that emphasizes their transition from “traditional” to “modern” societies – is rooted in both the optimism and fear that characterized 1950s America The book gives this thesis less attention than desired although Gilman does provide many original and valuable insights into the nature of modernization theory Ultimately the work is concerned almost entirely with the ideological and intellectual development of the theory and fails to directly connect it to United States policy decisionsGilman tracks modernization theory via three case studies the Harvard Department of Social Relations the Committee on Comparative Politics and the MIT Center for International Studies Gilman uses correspondence and papers generated by these groups to trace the nuances of modernization theory over time Though focusing on different methods all three groups dealt with economic political social and psychological factors and saw modernization as a divergent road that could lead to expressions resembling the United States or the Soviet Union They also sought to encourage third world nations to follow the American model Gilman's most significant contribution is his insistence that modernization theory – often viewed as a conservative viewpoint – actually has its roots in New Deal liberalism Similarly modernization theory was primarily concerned with defining the United States as a modern ideal and less with analyzing the status of third world nations Modernization theorists are often blamed for the foreign policy blunders of the Cold War era – such as Walter Rostow's reputation as the architect of the Vietnam War – yet Gilman defends these theorists somewhat By exposing the benevolent motivations behind their theories and rooting their ideas in the understandable context of Cold War optimism and fear Gilman shows that these men and their theories should not be vilifiedGilman also traces the fall of modernization theory as post modern skepticism attacked the very assumptions of modernity and measurable progress that formed its foundation It reemerged in the 1990s although in a modified form not built on New Deal exuberance for social welfare but on pure commercial success Globalism appeared as competition for this modified theory On this point Gilman's opinions seem too strong as the final chapter of the book devolves into a commercial for globalism both economically and socially This view may have seemed hopeful when the work was released in 2003 yet one wonders if Gilman would show such zeal for globalism in the depressed economic climate of merely a decade laterThe book's chief flaw is that Gilman fails to show a direct relation between the ideas he discusses and the implementation of policy The exception is the placement of Walter Rostow in the Kennedy administration Apart from this one direct link the book is unclear on how these ideas affected the policy decisions of the United States Additionally Gilman rarely defines his terms He traces the development of big ideas such as modernization theory neo liberalism and technocracy but rarely states exactly what he means by these large concepts Nevertheless the book is reuired reading for those interested in the intellectual underpinnings of the Cold War years Gilman's analysis and contextualization of modernization theory are a key component to understanding this era

Reader Ù Mandarins of the Future Modernization Theory in Cold War America New Studies in American Intellectual Cultural History ✓ Nils Gilman

Mandarins of the Future Modernization Theory in Cold War America New Studies in American Intellectual Cultural HistorySes the role of Walt Rostow and his colleagues at MIT in promoting modernization theory during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations of the New Deal order Gilman not only provides a new intellectual context for America's Third World during the Cold War but also connects the optimism of the Great Society to the notion that American power and good intentions could stop the postcolonial world from embracing communism As the onset of the Cold War coincided with the end of European and Japanese colonialism in the decades following World War II American policymakers and social scientists sought to create a development model that would serve as an alternative to Soviet communism whose rapid industrialization in the 1930s and 40s was widely admired by Third World intellectuals and leaders In Mandarins of the Future Nils Gilman traces the formation of that model modernization theory in elite universities by social scientists with close ties to the US government and corporate philanthropic organizations Gilman shows how these intellectuals' elitist sensibilities and rose tinted view of American society and history influenced the policy ideas they generated and why modernization theory ultimately lost influence following the Vietnam War which some of the leading figures of modernization theory such as Walt Rostow were deeply involved in He also traces the afterlife of modernization theory showing how many of its leading proponents during the 50s and 60s became neoconservatives or communitarians in subseuent decades and also discussing the resurgence of modernization themes under the guise of the Washington Consensus in the 1990s I would strongly recommend this book for students of international development and comparative politics Many American social scientists operate under the illusion that their fields are value free objective and 'progressive' in the sense that they are moving closer and closer to obtaining a 'complete' understanding of how the world works Mandarins of the Future should give them pause because it shows how social scientists who considered themselves objective nonetheless produced knowledge that was shaped by their standpoint as white males from middle class backgrounds educated in elite institutions which shaped their understanding of American society that thereby served as the 'norm' against which all others should be measured I would argue that American political science is still shaped by the elitist distrust of populism and the consensus intepretation of American history that Gilman identifies as sources of bias in modernization theory which in turn distorts the way they measure and theorize about political regimes states and economic development in the rest of the world This book highlights the need for social scientists to be reflexive about how their standpoint shapes the knowledge that they create because social scientists are the products of the very social orders that they studyThe final chapter of the book which discusses the postmodernist reaction to modernization theory and social modernism in general highlights a dilemma that I struggle with On the one hand modernization theory and the Washington Consensus present 'one size fits all' approaches to development that are based on distorted understandings of how the 'West' succeeded that conveniently occludes the sources of deepening ineualities within and between countries and the history of coercion that any honest account of European and American history must put in the foreground When the imperial state and philanthropic organizations backed by wealthy donors create development knowledge it's hard not to be skeptical because these biases are going to come up again and again they're produced by the structure On the other hand the postmodernist post development critics of development ideology fail in fact refuse to offer strategies for developing nations to improve welfare for their citizens Gilman has a point when he says that people like Arturo Escobar throw out the modernist baby with the development bathwater Criticism of the development apparatus shouldn't lead us to romaticize 'underdevelopment' What would development without domination really look like? I'm not convinced by Gilman's call for the creation of a global new deal but I think that he's right that we still need to generate theories of development if we're going to make this century better than the one that came before it we're not off to a great start

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