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“Internationalized science and human rights activism during the late Cold War: the French Committee of Mathematicians”

Abstract : This article examines the ties between an internationalized science and transnational activism, in particular for causes considered universal, such as defending human rights, during the late Cold War. It focuses on a scientific network that supported mathematicians persecuted for their political views by both left- and right-wing undemocratic regimes. The Committee of Mathematicians was founded in 1974 and was active for a decade, built incrementally as a transnational advocacy network located in several Western countries. Focusing primarily on the Committee’s French component, this article investigates the social and organizational underpinnings of its transnational action and defence of universal principles. It examines the modes of action and how they were shaped by scientists’ professional and even disciplinary affiliations. These focal points allow an interrogation of the place the committee occupied within the space of human rights activism. The article aims to contribute to a historical sociology of the ties between science and politics and of the transnational trends that strained national frameworks, while moving away from an approach focused solely on political macrotrends that fuelled the Cold War.
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Contributor : Ioana Popa Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, January 4, 2022 - 11:33:17 AM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 2:58:08 PM


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  • HAL Id : halshs-03330570, version 1


Ioana Popa. “Internationalized science and human rights activism during the late Cold War: the French Committee of Mathematicians”. Social Studies of Sciences, Sage, 2021, 51 (6), pp.871-894. ⟨halshs-03330570⟩



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