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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, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 05 June 2020

Planning a Technological Nation: Systems Thinking and the Politics of National Identity in Postwar France

Planning a Technological Nation: Systems Thinking and the Politics of National Identity in Postwar France

Chapter:
(p.132) (p.133) 5 Planning a Technological Nation: Systems Thinking and the Politics of National Identity in Postwar France
Source:
Systems, Experts, and Computers
Author(s):

Gabrielle Hecht

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262082853.003.0006

The main focus of this chapter is addressing two questions pointing to the importance of a deeper and more complex consideration of the comparison between systems thinking and how we currently attempt to describe the heterogeneous relationships that constitute technological activity today. First, the question of how systems thinkers conceived of relationships between technology and politics is addressed by examining how the systems thinking of state engineers, planners, and economists in France fit into broader debates about the relationship between technology, politics, and the national future during the 1950s and 1960s. Second, the question of how to deal with their conceptions and constructions in our own explorations of these relationships is addressed by presenting examples. The chapter begins with an analysis of French debates between technologists, social scientists, and humanists over the meanings of the terms “technocrat” and “technocracy.”

Keywords:   systems thinking, heterogeneous relationships, technological activity, technology, politics, France, French debates, technocrat, technocracy

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