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Systems, Experts, and ComputersThe Systems Approach in Management and Engineering, World War II and After$
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Agatha C. Hughes and Thomas P. Hughes

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780262082853

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262082853.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Out of the Blue Yonder: The Transfer of Systems Thinking from the Pentagon to the Great Society, 1961–1965

Out of the Blue Yonder: The Transfer of Systems Thinking from the Pentagon to the Great Society, 1961–1965

Chapter:
(p.311) 10 Out of the Blue Yonder: The Transfer of Systems Thinking from the Pentagon to the Great Society, 1961–1965
Source:
Systems, Experts, and Computers
Author(s):

David R. Jardini

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262082853.003.0011

The present chapter explores RAND’s development of analytical management techniques for military purposes and the diffusion of these methodologies from the military context into broader social welfare policy-making applications. It concentrates on three main issues, first providing a brief discussion of RAND’s history, focusing on the processes of intellectual production at RAND and the ways in which the creation of techniques there was shaped by a military context. Second, the chapter traces the dissemination of RAND’s systems methodologies from the corporation’s quasi-academic setting to the highest echelons of the U.S. national security structure. Finally, it examines where and how RAND’s methodological innovations diffused beyond the military establishment into programs of the “Great Society.” In general, the chapter traces the consequences of Cold War technical development for American democracy and argues that the widespread adoption of centralized, elitist policy making in the federal government may have contributed to the alienation many Americans feel toward the national government.

Keywords:   analytical management techniques, RAND, military context, policy-making applications, systems methodologies, U.S. national security, Great Society, Cold War, American democracy

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