1st Edition

Ethics, Norms and the Narratives of War
Creating and Encountering the Enemy Other

ISBN 9781138109988
Published May 22, 2017 by Routledge
176 Pages

USD $52.95

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Book Description

This book examines the ethics and values that render a war discourse normative, and features the stories of American soldiers who fought in the Iraq War to show how this narrative can change.

The invasion of Iraq, launched in March 2003, was led by the United States under the now discredited claim that Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction (WMD). However, critical questions concerning what we may be able to learn from this experience remain largely unexplored. The focus of this book, therefore, is on soldiers as systems of war – and the internal battle many of them wage as they live a reality that slowly emerges as inconsistent with familiar beliefs and value commitments.

This work offers a reflective study of identity struggle from the perspective of emotional psychology and delves into the ‘narrative field’ of socio-politics. Going beyond the political contestations over the U.S. military intervention in Iraq, the author analyses original research on the evolving beliefs and value-commitments of veterans of the war, exploring their faith in its ‘just cause’ and their personal sense of self and national identity.

This book will be of much interest to students of the Iraq War, US foreign policy, military studies, discourse analysis, and IR in general.



Table of Contents

Part I: The Making of an American War Narrative  1. From Crisis to Consensus  2. Shifting Storylines: Enter Iraq  3. The Push Toward Preemptive War: From Rhetoric to Reality  Part II: Narrating Ourselves into War  4. Receiving the Narrative  5. Myth, Memory and Humiliation  Part III: Living the Narrative  6. Embracing Uncertainty  7. Between Spaces: Confusion and Courage  8. Conclusion  List of Interviews


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Pamela Creed is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University in Virginia. She is also a mediator and facilitates workshops in peace education and constructive conflict. Her research interests include cultural mythology and emotion in conflict narratives, marginalized narratives and reconciliation processes.