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Knowledge Regulation and National Security in Postwar America

The first historical study of export control regulations as a tool for the sharing and withholding of knowledge.

In this groundbreaking book, Mario Daniels and John Krige set out to show the enormous political relevance that export control regulations have had for American debates about national security, foreign policy, and trade policy since 1945. Indeed, they argue that from the 1940s to today the issue of how to control the transnational movement of information has been central to the thinking and actions of the guardians of the American national security state. The expansion of control over knowledge and know-how is apparent from the increasingly systematic inclusion of universities and research institutions into a system that in the 1950s and 1960s mainly targeted business activities. As this book vividly reveals, classification was not the only—and not even the most important—regulatory instrument that came into being in the postwar era.

432 pages | 8 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2022

History: American History, History of Technology

Law and Legal Studies: Law and Society

Political Science: American Government and Politics, Diplomacy, Foreign Policy, and International Relations


“Daniels and Krige’s attempt is remarkable because of the breadth of the research required, but also because it breaks new ground. . . . This is a necessary, useful, and foundational book for aspects of twen­tieth- and twenty-first-century US policy that in combination typically get short shrift. For scholars interested in Cold War foreign policy, the history of technology and institutions, sociology, or twentieth-century intellectual history, this will be a book to have.”

Technology and Culture

"This is a terrific and important book. To make sense of our current moment of post-neoliberal revirement, we need new, engaged, and detailed political histories of state institutions. Daniels and Krige show us what that might look like."

H-Diplo Roundtable XXIV-8

"A valuable and much-needed addition to the literature on export controls. This book will easily become a main reference for anyone trying to understand the development of the US export control system and the central role that knowledge flow controls have played in that process."

Sam Weiss Evans, Harvard University

"An excellent book. It will provide an opening to a critical conversation that is needed in the United States right now on the relationship among export controls, national security, economic competitiveness, and academic freedom. This conversation will only grow in the coming decade, and this book will provide a touchstone for it."

Michael A. Dennis, United States Naval War College

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
Chapter 1. Introduction: What Are Export Controls, and Why Do They Matter?

Part 1
Chapter 2. The Invention of Export Controls over Unclassified Technological Data and Know-How (1917–45)
Chapter 3. The Cold War National Security State and the Export Control Regime  

Part 2
Chapter 4. The Recalibration of American Power, the Bucy Report, and the Reshaping of Export Controls in the 1970s
Chapter 5. The Reagan Administration’s Attempts to Control Soviet Knowledge Acquisition in Academia
Chapter 6. Academia Fights Back: The Corson Panel and the Fundamental Research Exclusion
Part 3
Chapter 7. “Economic Security” and the Politics of Export Controls over Technology Transfers to Japan in the 1980s
Chapter 8. Paradigm Shifts in Export Control Policies by Reagan, Bush, and Clinton and the Evolving US-China Relations
Chapter 9. The Conflict over Technology Sharing in Clinton’s Second Term: The Cox Report and the Use of Chinese Launchers

Part 4
Chapter 10. Epilogue: Export Controls, US Academia, and the Chinese-American Clash during the Trump Administration

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