24th of February – Professor William Walker – University of St

24th of February – Professor William Walker – University of St Andrews
Title: Nuclear technology and international order: an evolutionary perspective
Bio: William Walker has been Professor of International Relations at the University of St
Andrews since 1996. After initially training as an engineer and taking the Sussex Masters
degree in the History and Social Studies of Science, he joined SPRU in 1974 where he
worked on various issues with various esteemed colleagues until his departure for Scotland
and a different life in a teaching department. His latest book is 'A Perpetual Menace:
Nuclear Weapons and International Order'.
"My preoccupation in recent years has been with the creation, over time, of an international
order enabling states and peoples to survive and prosper given the existence of nuclear
technology (especially weaponry). The 'ordering imperative' has entailed social innovations
of various kinds (normative, political, organizational ...), framing and responding to
technological innovation. In this seminar, I shall consider certain aspects of nuclear history
from an evolutionary - and especially co-evolutionary - perspective, drawing on ideas from
both innovation studies and political science. One observation is that, although co-evolution
is a 'fact of life', innovation processes in the political and technological realms are markedly
different, in regard to their selection environments among other things."