fbpx STS Circle: Jayita Sarkar on “'Ploughshares and Swords: Technopolitics and Geopolitics in India’s Nuclear Program" | Harvard Kennedy School
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Date and Location

November 30, 2020
12:15 PM - 1:30 PM EST



Ploughshares and Swords is
the history of India’s nuclear program from its beginnings in the 1940s to the
1980s when the program readapted to national, regional, and global pressures. It
recounts how the stakeholders of India’s nuclear program pursued freedom of
action by prioritizing certain kinds of technologies and technological systems
over others, and how those choices often entrapped the nuclear program by
serving ulterior motives, leading to institutional infighting, and even
devolving into personal bickering. Even though the stakeholders’ pursuit of
freedom of action led to a large dual-use nuclear program that could
concurrently serve the national goals of security and development, India’s
nuclear program remained a patchwork of different reactor models that often
produced neither electricity from nuclear energy nor fissile material for
nuclear weapons. Instead, it bled the state coffers, uprooted people, and
resulted in public health catastrophes.

Speakers and Presenters

​Jayita Sarkar is an
Assistant Professor at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global
Studies, where she teaches diplomatic and political history.


Additional Organizers

​Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; Weatherhead Center for International Affairs; School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.