• Conference

Techno-Politics in the Age of the Great War 1900-1930 (Part 2)

Conference Series: A Time for Destruction. The Geo-Politics, Techno-Politics, and Sensory Politics of World War I

World War I was a European war over the future of the world. But the futures of the world that emerged from the war, including a yet more deadly war and a long period of cold confrontation, were quite unlike anything the belligerents, high and low, had expected. It is to the futures of this violent past that the series of three conferences on “The Time for Destruction” is dedicated.



The capacity to mobilize and organize and, more so, to maximize the forces of destruction—what the Greeks called techne and what we call techno-politics—is the subject of the second conference. The first day focuses on the mobilization for war at home and at the front, as well as on the kind of frictions an ever more comprehensive mobilization generated—including the evasions and resistances mobilization engendered. The focus of the second day is on the effort to harness and to tame the seemingly limitless capacity of destruction. Common soldiers everywhere suspected that techne, the capacity to maximize force, had become an end in itself, that the “perfection of technology” (Friedrich Georg Jünger) had turned both into the end and the means of war. They had a point in blaming their generals. However, there was more purpose to destruction than met their eye, because the future of Europe depended on it. By the same token, there were extensive debates on how to tame or channel violence. Peace-making and law-making, in other words, were integral parts of mobilizing for and fighting war. We might want to question the success of containing violence and bringing the Great War to a conclusion. However, the struggles were as important as the outcomes, because they set the tone and the agenda for the rest of the century.


PARTICIPANTS: Birgitta Bader-Zaar (Department of History, University of Vienna), Laurie Cohen (Department of Political Science, University of Innsbruck), Peter Holquist (School of Arts & Sciences, Department of History, University of Pennsylvania), Isabel V. Hull (Department of History, Cornell University), Manfried Rauchensteiner (Vienna), Hew Strachan (Faculty of History, University of Oxford), Gene Marie Tempest (Department of History, Yale University), Adam Tooze (Department of History, Yale University), Alex Watson (Department of History, University of Warsaw), Jay Winter (Department of History, Yale University)


CONVENERS: Michael Geyer (Department of History, University of Chicago), Lutz Musner (IFK, Vienna)


Tagung in englischer Sprache


Eine Kooperation des IFK mit der Kulturabteilung der Stadt Wien


Ort: IFK