This edited volume addresses the relationship between the essential nature of war and its character at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
The focus is on the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, situations that occupy a central role in international affairs and that have become highly influential in thinking about war in the widest sense. The intellectual foundation of the volume is Clausewitz’s insight that though war has an enduring nature, its character changes with time, space, social structure and culture. The fact that war’s character varies means that different actors may interpret, experience and, ultimately, wage war differently. The conflict between the ways that war is conceptualised in the prevailing Western and international discourse, and the manner in which it plays out on the ground is a key discussion point for scholars and practitioners in the field of international relations. Contributions combine insights from social theory, philosophy, sociology and strategic studies and ask directly what contemporary war is, and what the implications are for the future.
This book will be of much interest to students of war studies, strategic studies, security studies and IR in general.
Caroline Holmqvist-Jonsäter is currently completing a PhD in the conflation of war and policing in international conflicts at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London.
Christopher Coker is Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He is the author of 11 books on war and security issues.
Introduction Caroline Holmqvist-Jonsäter 1. The Character of War and the Nature of Combat Rune Henriksen 2. Insurgency and Terrorism: Is There A Difference? Isabelle Duyvesteyn and Mario Fumerton 3. Conflict characterization and the US military: the discourse trap in post-Saddam Iraq Jeff Michaels 4. Novelty is in the eye of the beholder: understanding the Taliban in Afghanistan Antonio Giustozzi 5. Waging War Through Surprise and Terror: The Madrid Train Bombings Daniel R. Morris 6. Metastrategy and the evolving character of war between the United States and al-Q’aeda Anthony Vinci 7. War as Perpetual Policing Caroline Holmqvist-Jonsäter 8. Metro Wars of the Future Christopher Coker. Conclusions Christopher Coker
The International Studies series is based on the LSE’s oldest research centre and like the LSE itself was established to promote inter-disciplinary studies. The CIS facilitates research into many different aspects of the international community and produces interdisciplinary research into the international system as it experiences the forces of globalisation. As the capacity of domestic change to produce global consequences increases, so does the need to explore areas which cannot be confined within a single discipline or area of study. The series hopes to focus on the impact of cultural changes on foreign relations, the role of strategy and foreign policy and the impact of international law and human rights on global politics. It is intended to cover all aspects of foreign policy including, the historical and contemporary forces of empire and imperialism, the importance of domestic links to the international roles of states and non-state actors, particularly in Europe, and the relationship between development studies, international political economy and regional actors on a comparative basis, but is happy to include any aspect of the international with an inter-disciplinary aspect.