1986 Volume 1986 Issue 83 Pages 1-11,L5
Since the end of the Second World War, the international system has changed under the impact of scientific and technological revolution. These changes are clearly linked to developments in science and technology, that is; nuclear arms build-up, growing interdependencies among nations accelerated by the impact of telecomunications and transportation technologies, ongoing commercialization and militarization of outer space, explosive increases of population, and so on. As a matter of course, the development of science and technology has been affected by the political, economic and social environment. On the one hand, this is most typically reflected in military technology, on which the very survivability of nation states has been, and usually is, deeply dependent. Economic considerations have, on the other hand, also been a fundamental element in the advancement of science and technology particularly because comparative advantage in science and technology capabilities of one country vis-a-vis any other developed countries has been a decisive factor in economic competition in the world market.
In this introductory note, some aspects of changes in the international system mentioned above will be briefly analyzed from the view-point of whether the structural attributes of the Western State System have been gradually withering away or not in this age of scientific and technological revolution. At the same time, the impact of science and technology on the international political system will be referred to in terms of militarization, or a “gray area” of high technology and politicization of technology transfer. All articles contributed to this edition will be organised and given short comments respectively in line with these contexts.