During the nuclear heyday of the post-war years advocates of atomic power promised cheap electricity and a prosperous future. From the present, however, this promise seems tarnished by accidents, leaks and a lack of public confidence. Mobilising Modernity traces this journey from confidence in technology to the anxieties of the Risk Society questioning a number of conventional wisdoms en route.
Paying close attention to social, political and policy aspects throughout, this book considers:
* the nuclear moment from global collaborative project at Los Alamos to fragmented, bitterly competing projects
* the 'atomic science movement's' use of symbolic resources to win national ascendancy
* the implications of secrecy and the establishment of quasi-commercial organisations within the nuclear industry.
This fascinating study also argues for the ongoing importance of the non-violent direct action groups that flourished during the 1970s, showing their continuing influence on today's new social movements. Welsh concludes by considering the implications of this historically based account for contemporary issues of risk and trust on current policy-making.
1. Introduction 2. The nuclear moment 3. Resisting the juggernaut 4. Accidents will happen 5. Modernity's mobilisation stalls 6. The moment of direct action 7. Networking: direct action and collective refusal
The International Library of Sociology (ILS) is the most important series of books on sociology ever published. Founded in the 1940s by Karl Mannheim, the series became the forum for pioneering research and theory, marked by comparative approaches and the identification of new directions in sociology, publishing major figures in Anglo-American and European sociology, from Durkheim and Weber to Parsons and Gouldner, and from Ossowski and Klein to Jasanoff and Walby.
Its new editors, John Holmwood (University of Nottingham, UK) and Vineeta Sinha (National University of Singapore), plan to develop the series as a truly global project, reflecting new directions and contributions outside its traditional centres, and connecting with the original aim of the series to produce sociological knowledge that addresses pressing global social problems and supports democratic debate.