This book advances an interdisciplinary understanding of moral injury by analyzing the stories of military veterans of combat and peace missions.
In the past decade, the concept of moral injury has emerged to address the potential moral impact of deployment. This book contributes to an interdisciplinary conceptualization of moral injury while, at the same time, critically evaluating the concept’s premises and implications. It paints an urgent and compassionate picture of the moral impact of soldiers’ deployment experience and the role of political practices and public perceptions in moral injury. It does so by drawing on the experiences of close to a hundred Dutch veterans deployed to Bosnia (Srebrenica) and Afghanistan, and analyzing their stories from the perspectives of psychology, philosophy, theology and social sciences. Ultimately, this book advances the understanding of moral, political and societal dimensions of moral injury and contributes to practical efforts aimed at its prevention.
This book will be of much interest to students of ethics and war, cultural anthropology, conflict studies and international relations.
Table of Contents
Part I: Setting the Stage
2. Toward an Interdisciplinary Approach to Moral Injury
Part II: Soldiers in Conflict
Introduction to Part II: The Dutch Missions in Bosnia and Afghanistan
3. ‘That’s just the way it is’: Uncomplicated Soldiering
4. Moral Disorientation and Ethical Struggles: Moral Injury at the Individual Level
5. Political Betrayal and Reparations: Moral Injury in Relation to Political Practices
6. Societal Misrecognition and (Self-)Estrangement: Moral Injury in Relation to Public Perceptions
Part III: Conclusions: Theoretical and Practical Implications
7. Practical Considerations for Addressing and Preventing Moral Injury
8. Moral Injury as a Manifestation of Latent Tensions: An Interdisciplinary Conceptualization
Tine Molendijk is Assistant Professor at the Netherlands Defense Academy (NLDA) and Research Fellow at the Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands.