1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of the Future of Warfare

Edited By Artur Gruszczak, Sebastian Kaempf Copyright 2024
    490 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    This handbook provides a comprehensive, problem-driven and dynamic overview of the future of warfare.

    The volatilities and uncertainties of the global security environment raise timely and important questions about the future of humanity’s oldest occupation: war. This volume addresses these questions through a collection of cutting-edge contributions by leading scholars in the field. Its overall focus is prognostic rather than futuristic, highlighting discernible trends, key developments and themes without downplaying the lessons from the past. By making the past meet the present in order to envision the future, the handbook offers a diversified outlook on the future of warfare, which will be indispensable for researchers, students and military practitioners alike. The volume is divided into six thematic sections. Section I draws out general trends in the phenomenon of war and sketches the most significant developments, from the past to the present and into the future. Section II looks at the areas and domains which actively shape the future of warfare. Section III engages with the main theories and conceptions of warfare, capturing those attributes of contemporary conflicts which will most likely persist and determine the dynamics and directions of their transformations. The fourth section addresses differentiation and complexity in the domain of warfare, pointing to those factors which will exert a strong impact on the structure and properties of that domain. Section V focuses on technology as the principal trigger of changes and alterations in the essence of warfare. The final section draws on the general trends identified in Section I and sheds light on how those trends have manifested in specific local contexts. This section zooms in on particular geographies which are seen and anticipated as hotbeds where future warfare will most likely assume its shape and reveal its true colours.

    This book will be of great interest to students of strategic studies, defence studies, war and technology, and International Relations.

    Introduction: Gazing into the Future Of Warfare

    Artur Gruszczak and Sebastian Kaempf

    Part I: Approaching Future Wars

    1. Strategic Foresight and Future War: A Discussion of Methodologies

    Beatrice Heuser, Joachim Isacsson and Olaf Theiler

    2. Predicting the Future of War in the 21st Century: A Future War Studies?

    Mark Lacy

    3. Thinking About the Future of War

    Christopher Coker

    4. Human Security in Future Military Operations

    Mary Kaldor and Iavor Rangelov

    5. Great Powers and War in the Twenty-First Century: Blast from the Past

    Vicky Karyoti, Olivier Schmitt and Amelie Theussen

    6. The Ecology of Violence

    Jonathan Luke Austin

    7. Militainment for Future Warfare

    Tanner Mirrlees

    Part II: The Systemic Variables of the Future of Warfare

    8. How our Accelerating Interactions in Cyberspace Have Shifted Global Power and Made a Kinetic World War More Likely: The Riddle of Steel

    Ivan Arreguín-Toft

    9. State Fragility as a Major Challenge to the Existing World Order: "Too Fragile to Hold the World"

    Iveta Hlouchova

    10. Lawfare in the 21st Century

    Lauren Sanders

    11. Privatization of Warfare

    Elke Krahmann

    12. Terrorism: The Never-Changing Chameleon

    Anastasia Filippidou

    13. Deterritorialization and Violent Networks

    Sebastian Kaempf

    Part III: Concepts and Theories of Future Warfare

    14. Understanding Western Perceptions of War and Insecurity: Unravelling Hybridity

    Sebastiaan Rietjens and David Snetselaar

    15. Irregular and Unconventional Warfare

    David Kilcullen

    16. The Future of Proxy Wars

    Giuseppe Spatafora and Vladimir Rauta

    17. Remote Warfare: Drivers, Limits, Challenges

    Neil C Renic

    18. Vicarious War and the United States: Imperial Antecedents and Anticipations

    Thomas Waldman

    19. Post-Modern Warfare

    Artur Gruszczak

    Part IV: Structural Complexity

    20. The Persistent Appeal of Chaoplexic Warfare: Towards an Autonomous S(War)M Machine?

    Antoine Bousquet

    21. Ethnic Conflict and Modern Warfare

    Dani Belo and David Carment

    22. Just War Thinking and Wars of Information: War, Not-War, and the Places Between

    Valerie Morkevičius

    23. Gender in Future Warfare

    Lindsay Clark

    24. Intelligence and Awareness 

    Rubén Arcos

    25. Criminality and Delinquency: The Impact on Regional and Global Security

    Daniela Irrera  

    Part V: Technoscience

    26. Cybernetics at War: Military Artificial Intelligence, Weapon Systems and the De-Skilled Moral Agent

    Elke Schwarz

    27. Digitizing the Battlefield: Augmented and Virtual Reality Applications in Warfare

    Andrew N. Liaropoulos

    28. Quantum Warfare

    James Der Derian and Stuart Rollo 

    29. Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems and their Potential Impact on the Future of Warfare

    Austin Wyatt

    30. Military Neuroenhancement 

    Łukasz Kamieński

    31. High-Energy Laser-Directed Energy Weapons: Military Doctrine and Implications for Warfare

    Lauren J Borja

    32. Space-Based Systems and Counterspace Warfare

    Marek Czajkowski

    Part VI: Harbingers of Future Warfare

    33. Prospects of Great Power Rivalry: Escaping the Tragedy?

    Enrico Fels

    34. Internationalized Civil War

    Alex J Bellamy

    35. Challenges to the Nuclear Order: Between Resilience and Contestation

    Sanne Cornelia J Verschuren 

    36. Conflict in Cyberspace

    Rain Ottis

    37. Large-Scale Criminal Violence in the 21st Century

    Angélica Durán-Martínez

    38. Staging the Conflicts to Come: Visions of the Future-Tracing Security Practices

    David Paulo Succi Jr, Helena Salim de Castro and Samuel Alves Soares

    39. Savage Wars and Conflict Dehumanization

    Paweł Ścigaj


    Artur Gruszczak is Professor of Social Sciences and Chair of National Security at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. He is author/editor of three books, including Technology, Ethics and the Protocols of Modern War, co-edited with Pawel Frankowski (Routledge 2018).

    Sebastian Kaempf is Senior Lecturer in Peace and Conflict Studies at the School of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Queensland, Australia. He is the author of Saving Soldiers or Civilians (Cambridge University Press 2018).

    'The editors have assembled an impressive and diverse collection of experts to describe and analyze how state and non-state actors will likely wield violence in the future. Taking a comprehensive and cutting-edge perspective, the volume covers a broad range of topics from new concepts of warfare to novel technologies of coercion and violence. This important volume will become a must-read for those seeking to understand how technology and trends will shape future warfare.'

    Nina Tannewald, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

    'Any book that seeks to comprehensively survey not only the current landscape of military and security studies but also its volatile future sets for itself a daunting task, but this extraordinarily wide-ranging volume delivers the goods. Assembling an array of accomplished authors from a refreshingly broad range of national, geopolitical, and epistemological perspectives, The Routledge Handbook of the Future of Warfare is in equal parts informative and thought-provoking, offering a combination of sophisticated theory and insightful analysis of recent and contemporary events "on the ground." This book will be an indispensable resource for anyone looking to understand twenty-first century warfare in all its complexity, with particular appreciation of the paradoxical interplay between cutting-edge technology and elemental patterns of human conflict.'

    Ward Thomas, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA

    'Thinking about the future of war is by definition a difficult task. The speed, the secrecy, the intangible nature of strategy and culture make it perhaps the most difficult intellectual challenge to encounter. This book meets this challenge brilliantly. It invites reflection, change of perception, innovative thinking, addresses old and new questions we have about what is to come when it comes to war. It brings together the greatest minds of our times, and fills an important gap in the landscape on all things future.'

    Florence Gaub, Research Director, NATO Defence College in Rome