Conscription is seen as forming a site and an issue-area around which different identities are struggled over and core political relations established in a security-related context. The unravelling of conscription thus unavoidably pertains to a set of essential ideational issues and has significance far beyond the military sphere. The contributors to this book explore the more profound issues such as the meaning of conscription in the context of the increasingly feeble relationship between the state and the nation. The analysis relates the question of changes or lack of change in recruitment to broader social, political and cultural issues, thereby breaking new ground. Attention not only focuses on what the military manpower systems do, but also on what they represent. As such, conscription has meaning far beyond the sphere of military affairs.
'Adopting a revisionist and critical approach, this book demonstrates how conscription is evolving and why it remains an important model in a number of European countries. The book is both timely and sophisticated in its analysis and should appeal to scholars interested in processes of nation-building and the evolution of European security.' Christopher Browning, University of Birmingham, UK 'This book not only provides us with important insights into a key aspect of European defence - that of conscription - but also places it in the wider social context of the countries involved. It is a valuable document that fills a gap in defence and strategic studies, but also contributes to a deeper understanding of the European state.' Clive Archer, Director, Manchester European Research Institute, UK 'Adds to a long overdue International Relations literature that is grounded in lived social relations rather than abstract systemic speculations. The suggestions for how conscription may be changed in order to address post-modern security concerns are particularly welcome given today's global climate. A welcome contribution on a key theme.' Iver Neumann, Oslo University, Norway 'These essays collected here are shrewd, informative…the book should interest historians of modern nation-building.' H-Net Review
Contents: Introduction: unpacking conscription, Pertti Joenniemi; Farewell to conscription? the case of Denmark, Pertti Joenniemi; National or international? contending discourses on Finnish conscription, Kari Laitinen; The rise and death of conscription: the case of France, Jean-Philippe Lecomte; Resisting change: the politics of conscription in contemporary Germany, Kerry Longhurst; The power of the draft: a century of changing legitimacy of Norway's armed forces, Karsten Friis; Enduring conscription: vagueness and VÃ¤rnplikt in Sweden, Anna Leander; The Swedish military manpower policies and their gender implications, Annica Kronsell and Erika Svedberg; Conclusion: national lexica of conscription, Anna Leander and Pertti Joenniemi; Index.