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The Power of SystemsHow Policy Sciences Opened Up the Cold War World$
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Egle Rindzeviciute

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501703188

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501703188.001.0001

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Bridging East and West

Bridging East and West

The Birth of IIASA

(p.52) 2 Bridging East and West
The Power of Systems

Eglė Rindzevičiūtė

Cornell University Press

This chapter details the establishment of International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) to demonstrate the crucial role of East-West cooperation in shaping global governance. IIASA as a diplomatic initiative was the result of actions by top governmental officials: US president Lyndon Johnson proposed creating an East-West think tank and Soviet Prime Minister Aleksei Kosygin accepted his proposal, both sides considering this step as part of cultural diplomacy or an exercise of “soft power” in the presumably less ideological areas of science and technology. The chapter then suggests that the establishment of IIASA can be interpreted as precisely such a forward-oriented arrangement to enable a certain form of cooperation between the opposing great powers: mutual predictability was enhanced by bringing together leading policy scientists from East and West, whereas shared goals were articulated through applied systems research.

Keywords:   IIASA, East-West cooperation, global governance, Lyndon Johnson, Aleksei Kosygin, cultural diplomacy, policy scientists, applied systems research

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