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Cult of the Irrelevant – The Waning Influence of Social Science on National Security - Princeton Scholarship Online
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Cult of the Irrelevant: The Waning Influence of Social Science on National Security

Michael Desch


To mobilize America's intellectual resources to meet the security challenges of the post-9/11 world, US Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates observed that “we must again embrace eggheads and ideas.” But the gap between national security policymakers and international relations scholars has become a chasm. This book traces the history of the relationship between the Beltway and the Ivory Tower from World War I to the present day. Recounting key Golden Age academic strategists such as Thomas Schelling and Walt Rostow, the book shows that social science research became most oriented toward practi ... More

Keywords: national security, international relations, social science, policymakers

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780691181219
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2019 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691181219.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Michael Desch, author
University of Notre Dame