U.S. Army Air Force Gen. Carl A. Spaatz (left) congratulated Edward Meade Earle on his receipt of the Presidential Medal for Merit in 1946.
U.S. Army A.A.F. Photo
"Present at the Creation: Edward Mead Earle and the Depression-Era Origin of Security Studies"
Journal Article, International Security, volume 36, issue 3, pages 107-141
Author: David Ekbladh, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2009–2010
Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Quarterly Journal: International Security
Security studies, as an American field of inquiry, has particular historical origins. Contrary to standard views, it was the unraveling of the international order in the 1930s that compelled a collection of internationalist institutions and individuals, led by historian Edward Mead Earle, to bind together a variety of new and traditional disciplines to create an entirely new field focused on the problem of security. These institutions and individuals not only sought to confront the crisis at hand by influencing public views, altering academic discussion, enhancing government capacity, and creating an American “grand strategy,” but also to establish strong institutional and intellectual foundations for an enduring scholarly project that would contended with future national security problems generated by the modern world. In this effort, Earle and his foundation, government, and university collaborators had significant influence on the evolution of security studies as a field that are still felt today.
Listen to a podcast of David Ekbladh and International Security editor Sean Lynn-Jones discussing this article.
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