The Rockefeller Foundation Fellows in Social Sciences: Transnational Networks and Construction of Disciplines - The Example of East Central Europe

by Justine Faure

Jan 1, 2012
During my research at the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC), most of my time was devoted to the collective research project, "The Rockefeller Foundation fellows in the Social Sciences (1924-1970): Transnational Networks, Construction of Disciplines and Policy Making in the Age of Globalization," coordinated by Ludovic Tournès and Michael Werner. This program aims at analyzing the role of the Rockefeller Foundation (RF) in the shaping of the social sciences in the world between the 1920s and 1970s, especially through its fellowship program. It is based on a study of fellows, the goal of which is to reconstruct their careers and trajectories before, during and after their fellowships. The worldwide geographical scope of the project gives the opportunity to go beyond national borders and to draw a global map of the construction and development of transnational networks of social scientists in which the RF played a prominent role. In following the fellows' careers, we can also study the way the social sciences were used, both at the national and international levels, and as intellectual tools in the elaboration of public policies, especially through the channel of expertise. This project fits into the growing field of transnational history applying its methods to the intellectual and institutional history of fellows, who have been largely neglected by historians of philanthropy, since many earlier studies have focused on grants given to institutions. The goal of this project is the construction of a database of all Rockefeller fellows in the social sciences between 1924 and 1945.
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