Ethics, Norms and the Narratives of War: Creating and Encountering the Enemy Other, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Ethics, Norms and the Narratives of War

Creating and Encountering the Enemy Other, 1st Edition

By Pamela Creed


176 pages

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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

About the Author

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.

About the Series

War, Conflict and Ethics

Ethical judgments are relevant to all phases of protracted violent conflict and inter-state war. Before, during, and after the tumult, martial forces are guided, in part, by their sense of morality for assessing whether an action is (morally) right or wrong, an event has good and/or bad consequences, and an individual (or group) is inherently virtuous or evil. This new book series focuses on the morality of decisions by military and political leaders to engage in violence and the normative underpinnings of military strategy and tactics in the prosecution of the war.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
HISTORY / Military / United States
PHILOSOPHY / Ethics & Moral Philosophy