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Margins for Survival - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780080233727, 9781483279299

Margins for Survival

1st Edition

Overcoming Political Limits in Steering Technology

Author: Edward Wenk
eBook ISBN: 9781483279299
Imprint: Pergamon
Published Date: 1st January 1979
Page Count: 214
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Margins for Survival: Overcoming Political Limits in Steering Technology examines the political limits as revealed by institutional behavior in the deliberate act of steering technology to produce socially satisfactory outcomes. This book provides an awareness of the predicaments toward which technology-intensive public policy must be generated and tuned. Organized into 11 chapters, this book begins with an overview of the common features of war, poverty, social injustice, ecological instability, and dehumanization. This text then examines the peril of brutality through psychological–emotional threats of deprivation of basic human rights, dignity, and freedom. Other chapters consider the deprivation individual opportunity for equanimity and self-expression and deprivation of equitable access to resources. This book discusses as well the various step of progress toward risk reduction that involves techniques of social machinery. The final chapter deals with the meaning of life with freedom, dignity, and self-esteem. This book is a valuable resource for political leaders.

Table of Contents


1 Introduction

The Precarious Situation

The Politicizing of Knowledge: Integrating Technology, Society and the State

Survival: A Neglected Governmental Responsibility

2 Threats to Survival

An Inventory of Global Dangers: From Nuclear Terror to Loss of Freedom

The Nuclear Example

Scales of Lethality

Coping with Risk: Safety and Self-Preservation

Social and Technological Risk Abatement

Recent Rehearsals and Close Shaves

3 New Enigmas

The Emerging Trap of Complexity

The Technological System

Interdependencies and Side Effects

Ignorance, Blunder, Folly and Mischief

4 Political Dimensions of Public Policy

Government as a Steering System

Decision Intelligence for System Guidance

Political Power and Political Will

Miscalculations from Political Process

Testing Decisions by Political Results

A Political Focus to Survival: A Summary

5 Truth and Consequences in Failing to Look Ahead

Stress in Decision Making

The Ticking Clock

Pathologies of the Short Run

Clocking and Ranking of Policy Outcomes

Unraveling Kinetics of Political Choice

Underlying Causes of Nearsightedness and Tunnel Vision

6 Coping with Future Threats

An Anthology of Prescriptions

An Anthology of Prescriptions

Refocusing the Inquiry

People and Personhood

7 New Scarcities

Scarcity of Time

Scarcity of Activists

Scarcity of Reserves

8 Strategies of Technological Choice: New Social Learning for Collective Security

Appreciating the Situation: A Cultural Stance

Survival Training: Education for the Future

Coalition Politics: New Collaboration between Scientists, Engineers, and Citizens

Prizes of Anticipation: Crisis Avoidance by Technology Assessment

Interinstitutional Networks: A Metaphoric Fourth Branch of Government

Mechanisms for Conflict Resolution

9 Margins for Survival

Engineering Lessons for Public Safety

Organized Vigilance

Resolute Liquidity

Offsetting the Coercion of Time

10 Global Security

11 Epilogue

To Be Alive and Free, Rational Humanism Is Not Enough




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© Pergamon 2013
1st January 1979
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

Edward Wenk

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