[Uwhistory] UWISC Presentation - "Mahan, Dreadnought,
and National Identity" (fwd)
anthonyl at u.washington.edu
Mon Nov 6 08:57:53 PST 2006
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 3 Nov 2006 15:53:02 -0800
From: Jeffrey Wolf <jeffwolf at u.washington.edu>
To: Jeffrey Wolf <jeffwolf at u.washington.edu>
Subject: UWISC Presentation - "Mahan, Dreadnought, and National Identity"
The University of Washington International Security Colloquium (UWISC)
Rob Farley, "Mahan, Dreadnought, and National Identity."
Time and place: Thursday November 9 in Smith 40A at 12:30-1:50.
Discussant: Jeff Wolf, PhD student, UW
Rob Farley is a recent UW PhD who is now an Assistant Professor at the
Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, University of
Kentucky. Below is an abstract of Rob's talk. Please contact me
(jeffwolf at u.washington.edu) with any questions.
Mahan, Dreadnought, and National Identity
Robert M. Farley
Scholars have established that sociological considerations drive defense
procurement as much as hard security concerns. Decision-makers worry about
prestige, national identity, and appropriateness when determining how to spend
scarce defense dollars. In the early part of the twentieth century, national
prestige in both great and minor powers depended on the acquisition of
dreadnought battleships. In the wake of Alfred Thayer Mahan's The Influence of
Sea Power Upon History, national power, modernity, and independence were
understood to be factors of naval power, and dreadnoughts became the most
visible indicators of such power. Virtually abandoning considerations of
military necessity and operational sustainability, small states contracted for
the construction of dreadnoughts that they were unlikely to use and unable to
maintain. This paper argues that sociological concerns dominated naval
procurement in the early twentieth century, but that the steady rationalization
of defense procurement procedures throughout the twentieth century has made a
widespread recurrence of this phenomenon unlikely.
UWISC is sponsored by the Center for International Studies at the Jackson
School of International Studies, the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, and the
Departments of Political Science and Scandinavian Studies.
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