1st Edition

Warrior's Dishonour Barbarity, Morality and Torture in Modern Warfare

Edited By George Kassimeris Copyright 2006

    The characteristic act of men at war is not killing. It is killing by committing shocking and unspeakable atrocities, when circumstances permit. What drives ordinary people into hatred, genocide, inhumanity and evil? What turns friends and neighbours against each other with such savagery? Where does such barbarity come from? This collection examines the anarchy, cruelty and overwhelming confusion of modern warfare. In particular it analyzes: ¢ what happens when morality vanishes from the battlefield and why torture is endemic in modern warfare; ¢ how human rights, in times of war, lose meaning as a set of principles; ¢ whether official propaganda and enemy demonization make barbaric behaviour easier; ¢ how we can develop cultures opposed to torture that damage the legitimacy of our societies. Through a wealth of case studies that have been carefully selected in terms of their themes, approaches and methodologies, this comprehensive volume provokes discussion and enhances understanding from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.

    Chapter 1 The Warrior’s Dishonour, George Kassimeris; Part I Stories of Atrocity; Chapter 2 Barbarism in War: Soldiers and Civilians in the British Isles, c.1641–1652, Frank Tallett; Chapter 3 Hatred and Honour in the Military Culture of the French Revolution, Ian Germani; Chapter 4 The British Army and Controlling Barbarization during the Kenya Emergency, Huw C. Bennett; Chapter 5 Beyond Terror and Insurgency: The LRA’s Dirty War in Northern Uganda, Anthony Vinci; Part II Barbarity as Strategy in Modern Warfare; Chapter 6 Why there is no Barbarization but a Lot of Barbarity in Warfare, Uwe Steinhoff; Chapter 7 Barbarity and Strategy, Graham Long; Part III The Barbarity of Contemporary Culture; Chapter 8 Taking the Gloves Off and the Illusion of Victory: How not to Conduct a Counter-Insurgency, David Whetham; Chapter 9 The Discursive Construction of Torture in the War on Terror: Narratives of Danger and Evil, Richard Jackson; Part IV War Crimes and Human Rights; Chapter 10 Reconstructing War: The Politics of Conflict and Barbarity via the Yugoslav Tribunal, Tim Montgomery; Chapter 11 ‘Not Being Victims Ever Again’: Victimhood and Ideology, Stephen Riley; Part V Making Torture Legal?; Chapter 12 Justifying Absolute Prohibitions on Torture as if Consequences Mattered, Michael Plaxton; Chapter 13 Torture, Evidence and Criminal Procedure in the Age of Terrorism: A Barbarization of the Criminal Justice System?, Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos;


    George Kassimeris is Senior Research Fellow in Conflict and Terrorism at the University of Wolverhampton, UK.

    'This is a book that makes us think about who we are and what we have become. Harsh but timely and thought-provoking, Warrior's Dishonour deserves a wide readership.' Jay Winter, Yale University USA 'The essays in this skilfully edited collection represent an original set of reflections on what is rapidly becoming the most important issue of our age - barbarity in warfare. Warrior's Dishonour is destined to make a significant mark.' Joanna Bourke, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK 'Recommended.' Choice 'Warrior's Dishonour is one of a handful of books that gets down to the nitty-gritty...To his great credit Kassimeris does not fall into the trap of asserting that the degrading character of war is a product of the 20th century...This is an excellent book...Warrior's Dishonour is a must-read for anyone seriously interested in the nature of war.' Metapsychology 'Taken together, these essays represent a thoughtful set of reflections upon barbarity in contemporary conflict, and in particular an attempt to explain the propensity for barbarity and torture even where it is proscribed and would appear to serve no function, or even to be counterproductive. They should be of interest to those interested in torture, international criminal accountability generally, and debates about the conduct of the global war on terror.' H-Net Reviews