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Alva Myrdal, UNESCO and Cold War International Social Science

Research project This project is concerned with the international organisation of the social sciences during the early Cold War era, 1945-1960.

Empirically the project is focused on UNESCO's Social Science Department (SSD) and Alva Myrdal's period as its Director, 1951-1955. The aim is to analyse the ideas and practices that characterised the activities and the organisation of the SSD, and thereby to evaluate Myrdal's importance during this formative stage, but also to discuss the SSD in broader organisational and geopolitical context.

Head of project

Per Wisselgren
Associate professor
E-mail
Email

Project overview

Project period:

2013-01-01 2015-12-31

Funding

The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences

Research area

Sociology
  • Project members

    External project members

    Annika Nordin, professor, programchef
    Hjalmar Laudon, professor, SLU
    Tomas Lundmark, professor, SLU
    Annika Mossing, kommunikatör
    Urban Nilsson, professor, SLU
    Petter Axelsson, postdoktor, SLU
    Karin Beland Lindahl, SLU
    Mats Berlin, Skogforsk
    Kevin Bishop, gästprofessor, SLU
    Christer Björkman, SLU
    Johanna Boberg, SLU
    David Ellison
    Gustaf Egnell, SLU
    Kristina Espmark, SLU
    Nils Fahlvik, SLU
    Adam Felton, SLU
    Niklas Forshell, IIASA
    Sabine Fuss, IIASA
    Martyn Futter, SLU
    Johanna Johansson, postdoktor
    Lars Lundqvist
    Artti Juutinen
    Georg Kindermann,
    Maartje J. Klapwijk
    Florian Kraxner
    Rolf Lidskog
    Anders Lundström,
    Tomas Lämås
    Eva-Maria Nordström,
    Thomas Ranius
    Eva Ring
    Lucy Rist
    Jean-Michel Roberge
    Daniel Sjödin
    Johan Sonesson
    Jan Stenlid
    Kristina Wallertz
    Camilla Widmark
    Anneli Ågren
    Lars Östlund

Project description

This project is concerned with the international organisation of the social sciences during the early Cold War era, 1945-1960. The topic is motivated by the fact that the current status, the societal importance and the global imbalances of today's international social science to a large extent can be understood against the background of the rapid expansion, the social impact and the new organisational structures that characterised the development of the social sciences after the Second World War. Empirically the project is focused on UNESCO's Social Science Department (SSD) and Alva Myrdal's period as its Director, 1951-1955. The aim is to analyse the ideas and practices that characterised the activities and the organisation of the SSD, and thereby to evaluate Myrdal's importance during this formative stage, but also to discuss the SSD in broader organisational and geopolitical context. Attention will for example be devoted to the SSD's relations to other contemporary international social science organisations, such as the International Social Science Council, the International Sociological Association and l'Institut International de Sociologie, as well as a couple of the most important North American private research foundations. In this way the project intend to contribute to a deeper historical understanding of the organisational structures and global imbalances that to a large degree still characterise contemporary international social science.