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Armed with ExpertiseThe Militarization of American Social Research during the Cold War$
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Joy Rohde

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449673

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449673.001.0001

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Deeper Shades of Gray

Deeper Shades of Gray

Ambition and Deception in Project Camelot

(p.63) 3 Deeper Shades of Gray
Armed with Expertise

Joy Rohde

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on Project Camelot, a research project organized by the Special Operations Research Office (SORO) to determine the fundamental causes of communist revolution and prescribe solutions to them. Promising a breakthrough in “peace research,” this multiyear, multimillion-dollar project was described as “an attempt to find nonmilitary and nonviolent solutions to international problems.” Indeed, social scientists hoped that social science would bring reason and rationality into American relationships with the third world. However, scholars and government officials in Chile learned that the research was sponsored not by a university or a research foundation, but by the Defense Department. A study that Americans deemed peace research appeared to Latin Americans as a prelude to American military invasion. The allegation spread around the globe, and as a result, civilian government officials responded with outrage, charging that Camelot proved their worst fears: the Pentagon was attempting to seize control of foreign policy making from the State Department.

Keywords:   Project Camelot, Special Operations Research Office, peace research, military invasion, Pentagon, foreign policy making

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