Impact of technology and science on International relations

Impact of technology and science on International relations


Science, technology and international affairs influence one another. The impacts of science and technology on international affairs, particularly those of communication and information technologies, are especially penetrating. The interactive effects of science, technology and international affairs are so crucial and extensive that the area needs to be identified as an autonomous sub-control. Its current position as a comparatively abstruse theory, to be charged to experts and kept more or less obscured from the principal body of international relations, is a threatening solecism. These impacts may be categorized as handling through one of four main mechanisms:

(1) Altering the building of the international system: its structure, its main constructing theories, and the relations among its factors.

(2) Altering the operations by which the international system employs, incorporating administration, diplomacy, war, commerce, finance, trade, policy formation, communications, and the assembling of intelligence;

(3) Developing new issue regions, trade-offs and new constraints in the constructing environment of foreign policy, an expression which incorporates not only political constraints on international operations, but also constraints imposed by the laws of natural and social science; and

(4) Contributing a source of adjusted realizations, of data and clarity for the operation of the international system architecture, and of new theories and schemes for international relations theory.


  1. The major intention of this project proposal is to carry out the factors that influenced on international relations based on technology and science.
  2. And how have significant elements in international affairs evolved as they interact with technological change.


  • To understand the project needs, it required collecting the background information through literature survey on international relations and it associated issues.
  • To collect the back ground knowledge on technology and science, required to consider case studies.
  • To make research, need to prepare a frame work with proper research methodology and approach.
  • To critically evaluate the survey results and observations in literature study through discussion and analysis.

Research questions:

  • What are the critical factors that need to consider for project international relations when technology and science is the primary concern?
  • What is the significant role of technology and science towards international relations get strengthen?

Literature review:

Taylor (2004), faces that technological creativity has a great impact on international affairs or relations. Yet, he specifies, international relations intellectuals in common have contributed small amount to the effect of science and technology.
International Relations in different nations:

According to Eugene B. Skolnikoff, the startling changes in world affairs that began in late 1980’s signaled the end of many of the central elements of postwar international relationships. Momentous and unexpected events in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union occurred at a breathtaking pace, with a spontaneity that tended to obscure the underlying currents that had unleashed them. Many forces were at work in those societies over decades, culminating in dramatic upheaval in essentially all countries of the former eastern bloc.

The influence of technological change in the disintegration of communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union is but one manifestation of a much longer story in which the results of science and technology have contributed to a profound evolution of the details and substance of national and international affairs. The effects are visible not only in the outcome of the communist experiment but in the countless alterations in the relationships within and among nations and peoples. And that influence is likely to continue to be significant long into the future as the nations of the world remain strongly committed of supporting research.

The evidence for the role of science and technology in the evolution of international affairs is pervasive, and most easily seen through dramatic developments that have led global consequences such as the deployment of massive strategic nuclear forces, the nuclear accident at Chernobyl, foreign currency transactions on computerized financial markets in excess of $500 billion per day, or the total eradication of the scourge of smallpox.

Relationship between Science & technology and international relations:

The relationship between international relations and science and technology is not only a result of result of recent advances in science and technology, though the breadth of interaction and the rapidity of change are relatively modern characteristics. The historical examples are countless, ranging from weapons developments that altered the fate of nations and social structures, to industrial technologies that were the basis of revolutions in economy and wealth, to new capabilities in science and technology themselves that led to astonishing discoveries and applications. It was not only the physical developments of technology that had an impact; underlying concepts of science and of the natural world were crucial as well. The intellectual currents of the enlightenment, so much a product of the new ideas of experiment and rationality that accompanied the scientific revolution, served to stimulate massive forces for change in the west.

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Today, given the scale and organization of the scientific and technological enterprises, science and technology have become arguably the most powerful and persistent factors lending to societal change and, necessarily, to change in international relations. The accelerated commitment of resources and development (r/d) during and after World War II has transformed the relatively haphazard climate of invention and scientific research of earlier centuries. There is now in place a formidable and growing capacity, a system for targeting human integrity toward the rapid expansion of knowledge and the production of new technologies designed to serve perceived or speculative needs. Not only do the products of this system have significant international effects, but it’s very operation leads to international consequences and favors the creation of global markets for its products and for surprising portion of the system, international goals provide the underlying motivation for the commitment of r/d resources by governments and even by industry.

Technical aspects of international relations:

The subjects with international consequences that have been massively affected by technological change in recent years are familiar; weapons, communications. The economy, transportation, agriculture, health, space, and others; few, if any, aspects of international affairs have been untouched by science and technology. The effects of the application of technology are so widespread, in fact, and often of such obvious importance in the conduct and evolution of relations among nations, that it is routine for commentators to lapse into florid rhetoric in describing the resulting dramatic change in the international political system. Secretary of George P. Shultz said in December 1987, “Developments in science and social organization are altering the world profoundly- too profoundly for conventional habits of thinking to grasp. History suggests that mankind rarely understands revolutionary change at the time it is coming about.” W. Michael Blumenthal, Secretary of the Treasury under President Carter said in his 1987 Elihu Root lectures at the council on Foreign Relations in New York, “I believe there is one circumstance which overshadows all else and has set the current period apart: unprecedented, deep and continual technological change…extraordinarily rapid technological change has thrust upon us yet unresolved problems of governance in the national and international spheres.

For all that the relationship appears to be self-evident; the extent even of the surface changes in international politics stemming from science and technology proves to be quite difficult to characterize with precision or to assess satisfactorily. It is not hard to draw up lists enumerating international political issues that are affected by technological change, but it is very much more demanding to understand the complexity of the interactions and their more profound consequences for international relations. That understanding is necessary not only to capture the relationship for analytical purposes, but also to assess the true extent of the evolution in international relations and to be able to anticipate, and possibly influence, the future directions and implications of change. It is that understanding of the complexity of the interaction and of the consequences for international affairs that we hope to achieve in this inquiry.

Theories of international relations:

Curiously, though there have been innumerable policy studies dealing with the effects of technological change in specific policy areas and a small number of works that attempt to look across the board at important policy areas, the subject is largely unexplored from the deeper perspective of the overall effects of science and technology on the evolution of international affairs. It is curious because of the evident centrality of the relationship, whether or not there is agreement on its ultimate significance. Even scholars concerned with theoretical issues in international relations tend to create science and technology as static givens or as emanating from impenetrable black boxes. One of the purposes of this study will be not only to fill this lacuna in the subject as a whole, but along the way to provide a basis for considering science and technology more appropriately in policy or theoretical analyses as the interactive, dynamic variables they are in reality.

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There is much obviously much in the theoretical literature on international relations that is pertinent and that would illuminate the issues we will be discussing. It would be possible, in fact, to structure along the lines of the debates among theorists. For example, according to differing views of the role of the state or of state or international organizations, both of which have been, and will continue to be, much affected by scientific and technological change.

The idea of sovereignty, appearing often in both theoretical and policy terms, does require brief discussion, however, for it is a central element in the nation-state system and is repeatedly cited as having been eroded or at least greatly altered in meaning by technological change. It might easily be assumed that it would figure as an organizing theme in a study concerned with the impact of science and technology on evolution of international relations.

The concept is generally thought by theorists, statesmen, and the public at large as fundamental attribute of nations, what Stephen Krasner calls “the constructive principle of the existing international system”.


As this project is mainly towards the qualitative research work and which extracts the information analysis from ground level. In this project data analysis point of view, primary data collection is considered where it is with the metric point and literature survey is considered towards the qualitative research part.

Qualitative is chosen for project scope area where it deals with the amount of data collection which is not come true with quantitative. Corbin, A. S. a. J. (1998) Researcher want to collect the data from recent articles as well as recent publishers reviews and for primary data collection, he want to choose from different level of people in IT organization like project manager, employee and top level management. So it will be very helpful to analyze the particular point in multidimensional view. It will be more helpful for this research analysis. I had some reference in Indian IT companies, with that I want to go for primary data collection by taking the interviews (Yin, R. (1989)).

Data collection is considered as primary and secondary resources. In secondary point, data is being collected in indirect manner where resource will be like books, articles, journals and internet resources (Easterby-smith, R. T. a. A. L. (2002). Primary data collection is the process of finding the data collection from real domain experts by taking the interviews and questionnaire. Then make a comparison study between primary data collection and secondary then make analysis according to the researcher choice with proper evolution. As this project deals the research area of qualitative where there is a lot of scope in mine the knowledge about project task. Interviews are conducted in semi structured pattern where the interview is frame with defined set of questions which is towards the objectives.

The most common approach to studying the interaction of science and technology with international relations views the relationship in the context of specific policy areas, typically in relation to pressing policy concerns. A limited number of studies have taken a somewhat broader canvas using a variety of specific policy implications of science and technology as a way of illustrating the growth and change in the matter of international politics and the new relationships and institutions that have been created. These studies have been useful with respect to specific policy implications of developments in science and technology, but they are less satisfactory for our goal of understanding the broader and more fundamental interactions of science and technology with the international political system, and how that system is affected by the continued advance of science and technology.

Our primary purpose is not to produce a definitive or quantitative measure of system change; the task would be difficult and the result ultimately arbitrary. Rather, we will explore the nature of the interactions between technological and social factors that lead to evolutionary change, identify the direction and patterns of that change, and record its characteristics. Our focus, accordingly, will be on the patterns of evolution of important elements of international relations as a result of the impact with science and technology. We will consider change in system characteristics or concepts to constitute a definitive transformation only when it is ambiguous.

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The complete project is mainly concerned about the international relations with respect to the technology and science. Now a days, completely world relayed on globalization issues where technology plays vital role in all the fields of development as well as service oriented industries. According to the aim of this project proposal, it must be focused on technology relevant domains as well as current positions with respect to the fields of operations.

Even here it required to consider the change management factors according to the change occurred in one sector. So change management plays crucial role in international relations when technology and science came in the primary concern. Researcher point of view, this domain brings very helpful information and prediction policies towards the international relations.

For this kind of research, primary data collection is essential where the interpretation is mandatory with respect secondary data which gathered through literature survey. For primary data collection point of view, it considered personal interviews to the professionals in technology end who are worked for research and development sectors. For that researcher is considered information technology field which always keep on upgrading with their technologies and shows much impact on international relations and associated tools. According to the researcher, this research is much towards the real world, so it should be useful for improvement of international relations.

Schedule plan and timetable:

According to the researcher, this project takes around 90 days of time where the initial stage is completely depends on the requirement analysis of project. Then it will consider the significant study of literature associated with project domains. Then it is required to choose proper research methodology and primary data collection from real domain like surveys and personal interviews. Finally researcher will come to produce the key findings of results with proper frame work also conclusion where all the research work is done under supervision of my project coordinator.



Duration (Days)


Analyzing the Count of products measures


Literature study on project requirement

Studying of all the background study needed for this project like international relations as well as how it associated with technology and science


Research methodology and frame work

Research methods are going to evaluate in point of project research


Primary data collection

Primary data is being collected by taking interviews from various levels of people in industry.


Data analysis

Making analysis over collected data


Critical evaluation and conclusion

Evaluate the things that find and making a conclusion for the project



To Produce final dissertation











Project information





Literature Review



Research analysis



Design of the proposed system




Evaluation of the design

Final document



Final Dissertation Report


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Committee on Japan, 1997. Maximizing U.S. Interests in Science and Technology Relations with Japan (Compass Series). Edition. National Academies Press.

John R. De La Mothe, 2002. Science, Technology and Global Governance (Science, Technology, and the International Political Economy Series). 0 Edition. Routledge.

2001. International Relations and Global Climate Change (Global Environmental Accord: Strategies for Sustainability and Institutional Innovation). 1st Edition. The MIT Press.

Beverly Crawford, 1993. Economic Vulnerability in International Relations: East- West Trade, Investment, and Finance. Edition. Columbia University Press.

MIT Political Science: Graduate Studies – Fields of Study. 2014. MIT Political Science: Graduate Studies – Fields of Study. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 19 March 2014].

JSTOR: An Error Occurred Setting Your User Cookie. 2014. JSTOR: An Error Occurred Setting Your User Cookie. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 19 March 2014].

What is the Impact of Science and Technology (NUCLEAR WEAPONS) Upon International Relations?. 2014. What is the Impact of Science and Technology (NUCLEAR WEAPONS) Upon International Relations?. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 19 March 2014].

GT Catalog : International Affairs : MS International Affairs. 2014. GT Catalog : International Affairs : MS International Affairs. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 19 March 2014].

20th-century international relations (politics) :: Science and technology in wartime — Encyclopedia Britannica. 2014. 20th-century international relations (politics) :: Science and technology in wartime — Encyclopedia Britannica. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 19 March 2014].

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