Distinguished Faculty Lecture: Christian Appy
April 4, 2017
Room: Bernie Dallas Room
UMass Amherst Campus
From the Manhattan Project to the Global War on Terror, nuclear weapons have had a pernicious impact on American political culture. The secrecy and concentrated power under which the first atomic weapons were created provided a model for the post–World War II permanent national security state, presided over by presidents invested with unprecedented power. Their exclusive authority to produce and use atomic weapons—codified by the Atomic Energy Act of 1946—led to further expansions of presidential powers not conferred by the constitution. The authority to launch globe-threatening weapons has led to a wide range of additional assertions of power unaccountable to the public or its elected representatives, including covert overthrows of foreign governments, secret bombing of foreign nations, unilateral abdication of treaties, warrantless surveillance of American citizens, and routine circumvention of Congress’s constitutional power to declare war.
This lecture will argue that nuclear weapons are inherently undemocratic and must be abolished before we can begin dismantling the national security state and restoring genuinely representative government.
Professor Appy will be presented with the Chancellor’s Medal, the highest recognition bestowed to faculty by the campus, at the conclusion of the lecture.
This lecture is free and open to the public. For information, call 413-577-1101.