Sociology The Sociology of War
by
David R. Segal, Molly Clever
  • LAST MODIFIED: 30 September 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756384-0161

Introduction

The sociology of war is a subfield of sociology that focuses primarily on the macrolevel patterns of war making, including how societies engage in warfare, the meaning that war has in society, and the relationship between state structure and war making. The sociology of war is strongly related to, although in many ways distinct from, the subfield of military sociology that focuses on the organization and functioning of military forces with a particular focus on military personnel and civil military relations. What binds these lines of scholarship together is the basic premise that to understand war, it is necessary to understand those who fight it, and vice versa. In addition to military sociology and military history, the sociology of war also overlaps with anthropology, political sociology, political science, and international relations, and is most strongly embedded within the field of comparative historical sociology. With a few notable exceptions, studies of war, its patterns, and its sociological implications were primarily isolated within these fields until the 1980s when two trends in American and European academia opened the door for an interdisciplinary sociology of war. The first trend was the dissipation of a war taboo, widespread in American academia, as a reaction to the social resistance against the Vietnam War throughout the 1960s and 1970s; because of the taboo against perceived support for the military industrial complex among American scholars at this time, the center of gravity for war scholarship during these decades was in Western Europe. The shift toward a renewed interest in the social implications of war also occurred in the context of the end of the Cold War, which raised new questions about the role of the state in war making and the future of warfare. Particularly within comparative historical sociology, renewed scholarly interest in the origins of the modern nation-state led to a reexamination of the role that warfare played in the emergence and spread of the state system. Although it strongly overlaps with many other social science fields with interests in government and politics, the sociology of war is distinct from fields such as history and international relations in that its primary interest is not on how wars begin or end, but rather the cultural and social implications of war and how war and society act and react upon each other. In the past decade, the sociology of war has focused to a large extent on questions related to war type, particularly the role of nonstate combatant groups, the apparent increase in asymmetrical war in the post–Cold War era, and the meaning that such transformations in war making may carry for the societies that wage them.

Classic Works

Much current scholarship on the sociology of war is explicitly in response to von Clausewitz 1976, Napoleonic war–era theories of war as an extension of politics and the centrality of the tripartite relationship between the state, the armed forces, and society. While von Clausewitz may be considered the founding father of modern war sociology, earlier writings from Machiavelli 2003 in 16th-century Europe and Sun Tzu 1971 in 6th-century BCE China established the foundations for the study of the tactics and political implications of warfare. Clausewitz’s seminal maxim that war is politics by other means is likewise present, in one form or another, in the works of both Sun Tzu and Machiavelli. Grotius 1962, extensive volumes on the laws of war written during the upheaval of the Thirty Years’ War, was a paramount influence on the development of European international law. The study of war became embedded in sociology through the mid-19th-century writings of Weber 1978 and Marx 1988 who established conflict theory within sociology, specifically linking the modern state apparatus with the use of organized, coercive violence. Marx’s materialist conception of history linked the organization, tactics, and technologies of war to specific modes of production and advocated armed proletariat revolution as the only way to demolish the coercive power of the modern state. Weber’s definition of state power in terms of the monopolization of the legitimate use of force within its claimed territory continues to form the foundations of current understandings of the modern state and warfare as distinct from other forms of violence. Weber’s link between modernity, territory, and the monopolization of legitimate force has taken on new relevance and come under increased scrutiny in recent decades as more scholarly attention has been given to the use of force among nonstate actors. Malešević 2010 provides a useful analysis of the treatment of militarism and violence among the founding fathers of sociology, and is especially useful as a companion piece when reading the classic sociological texts.

  • Grotius, Hugo. 1962. The law of war and peace. Translated and edited by Francis W. Kelsey. Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill.

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    English translation of De jure belli ac pacis, first published in 1625. This classic text on the laws of war influenced the development of European international law. Also see Just War Tradition and Laws of War.

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    • Machiavelli, Niccolò. 2003. Art of war. Translated and edited by Christopher Lynch. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

      DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226500324.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      English translation of Dell’arte della guerra, first published in 1521. Serves as both an important theory of war, particularly regarding the use of standing armies, as well as a historical document that provides insight to an important period of transformation in southern Europe in both the technologies of war and the organization of military forces as Europe entered the modern age.

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      • Malešević, Siniša. 2010. How pacifist were the founding fathers? War and violence in classical sociology. European Journal of Social Theory 13.2: 193–212.

        DOI: 10.1177/1368431010362298Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

        A useful assessment of how war and violence figures into the classic works of the founding fathers of sociology. Provides an important companion piece to reading the classic sociological works, especially of Marx and Weber, and directing the reader to relevant passages on war in the classic texts.

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        • Marx, Karl. 1988. The Civil War in France: The Paris commune. New York: International Publishers.

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          A pamphlet written in response to the 1871 French uprising that reflects Marx’s shift toward explicit advocacy of armed proletarian revolution. This pamphlet would become especially influential for communist revolutionaries such as Lenin and Mao to adopt tactics of peasant guerilla warfare.

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          • Sun Tzu. 1971. The art of war. Translated and edited by Samuel B. Griffith. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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            English translation of the classic Chinese treatise on the tactics and strategy of war, first published in the 6th century BCE. Ten centuries before Weber, Sun Tzu (also known as Sun Wu and Sunzi) discussed war in terms of rational efficiency and bureaucratic organization. The text is used as part of standard military leadership training in many countries, including in the United States and most East Asian nations.

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            • von Clausewitz, Carl. 1976. On war. Translated and edited by Michael Howard and Peter Paret. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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              English translation of Vom Krieg, first published in 1832. The foundational work of the sociology of war, Clausewitz’s formulation of the “trinity of forces” that comprise war established the analytic frame that continues to dominate war scholarship.

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              • Weber, Max. 1978. The types of legitimate domination. In Economy and society: An outline of interpretive sociology. Edited by Guenther Roth and Claus Wittich, 212–216. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

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                Although he never explicitly theorized war, Weber’s definition of the modern state as a political entity that monopolizes the legitimate use of force within its claimed territory continues to form the starting point for current analyses of organized violence.

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                Early Foundations

                Although the classic texts provided the tools to theorize the complex relationships between society and war, these works were primarily confined to studies of the tactics and organization of conflict, or in the case of Weber, to theories of state bureaucratization. The experience of World War II awakened a new scholarly interest in the connections between war making and society. Two issues of the American Journal of Sociology, one on the eve of America’s involvement in the war (Blumer, et al. 1941) and one immediately following its conclusion (Blumer, et al. 1946) sought to explore sociological perspectives on war and the military. For many European scholars, the interest spurred by World War II was largely focused on the relationship between war and macrolevel social change. Sorokin 1937 and Marwick 1974 developed organizing schemas for understanding human history in terms of transformations in the organization of war and its relationship to social organization. The writings of Aron 1985 and Andreski 1968 provide an important understanding of the transformations in the interactions between the military and society within the Cold War context. The foundations for the empirical study of the dynamics of war were also set at this time. Wright 1965, a study of wars from 1890 to 1940, collected a vast array of theoretical and empirical information on the dynamics of war and the characteristics of the societies who waged them to develop a comprehensive theory of warfare. Strongly influenced by Sorokin, Singer and Small 1972 developed the first comprehensive and systematic data collection effort that measured the dynamics of war throughout the world since 1816; the authors’ operationalization of the concepts of war, the state, and war type continue to serve as the starting point for empirical studies of war dynamics.

                • Andreski, Stanislav. 1968. Military organization and society. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

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                  Provides a Cold War–era perspective on the relationship between militaries and social structure, theorizing that military participation rate, subordination, and cohesion are the key factors in military organization that impact social structure, political units, social inequalities, and stratification.

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                  • Aron, Raymond. 1985. On war. Translated by Terence Kilmartin. Lanham, MD: Univ. Press of America.

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                    English translation from Le guerre en chaîne, first published in 1951. An explicit effort to define war in sociological terms in the context of the Cold War détente and the rise of nuclear power. Aron explores what is at stake in a conflict between nuclear armed societies and how leaders might achieve successful diplomacy in the increasingly complex interactions of a bipolar and nuclear armed world.

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                    • Blumer, Herbert, Ernest W. Burgess, and Louis Wirth, eds. 1941. American Journal of Sociology 46.4 (January).

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                      Special issue on war and peace in response to the growing European conflict on sociological understandings of the dynamics of warfare, particularly regarding its technological, cultural, organizational, and political implications.

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                      • Blumer, Herbert, Ernest W. Burgess, Everett C. Hughes, and Louis Wirth, eds. 1946. American Journal of Sociology 41.5 (March).

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                        Special issue on the social psychology of military life in response to the American military experience in World War II with a particular focus on the sociological and psychological processes and implications of transforming civilians into war fighters.

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                        • Marwick, Arthur. 1974. War and social change in the twentieth century: A comparative study of Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States. London: Macmillan.

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                          Provides a four-tier model of the interrelationship between war and society, distinguishing between its destructive, test, participation, and psychological aspects; it is the dynamics of the relationship between these four tiers that result in particular social changes as an outcome of war.

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                          • Singer, J. David, and Melvin Small. 1972. The wages of war, 1816–1965: A statistical notebook. New York: Wiley.

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                            First publication of data collected by the Correlates of War project; Singer and Small’s operationalization of the concepts of “war” and the “state” and definitions of war type have served as the foundation for empirical scholarship on war dynamics since the 1970s.

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                            • Sorokin, Pitirim. 1937. Social and cultural dynamics: Fluctuations of social relationships, war and revolution. Vol. 3. New York: American Book.

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                              Theorized the causes and dynamics of war across the history of Western civilization, seeing war as a consequence of the breakdown of intergroup relationships. Began one of the first efforts to quantify and analyze war trends by collecting data on the organization, size, tactics, and casualties of wars in the Western world since ancient Greece.

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                              • Wright, Quincy. 1965. A study of war. 2d ed. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                Important early contribution to the development of a comprehensive theory of war; study of wars between 1890 and 1940 that connected the technological, legal, sociopolitical, and cultural aspects of human life to the likelihood and dynamics of conflict.

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                                State Formation

                                Following the burgeoning scholarship on the relationship between war and society that took place after World War II and the peak of the Cold War, a renewed interest in questions related to modern state formation among comparative and historical sociologists further established a place for the study of war in sociological inquiry. In States and Social Revolutions, Skocpol set the stage for the state-centric scholarship of the 1980s by developing a new theory of the origins and causes of social revolutions (Skocpol 1979). The call in Evans, et al. 1985 to “bring the state back in” to social and historical analyses brought attention to the methodological and analytical techniques to study modern state formation and state power. It was in this volume that Tilly 1985 introduced the aphorism that “war makes states, and vice versa,” a concept that Tilly 1992 further elaborated into the central theory of the connection between war and the modern state that continues to draw praise and criticism, as well as empirical and theoretical elaboration among sociologists of war. Mann’s theory of state power (Mann 1986) emphasized the Weberian definition of the territorially based monopolization of the use of force by states.

                                • Evans, Peter B., Dietrich Rueschemeyer, and Theda Skocpol, eds. 1985. Bringing the state back in. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                  DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511628283Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                  A central methodological and analytical text on the analysis of the state in comparative and historical sociology, this volume set the foundation for the link between war making and the origins and development of the modern state.

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                                  • Mann, Michael. 1986. A sources of social power. Vol. 1, A history of power from the beginning to A.D. 1760. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                    The first in a three-volume series on social power that outlines the interrelationships between military power and other forms of power, such as ideological, economic, and political power.

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                                    • Skocpol, Theda. 1979. States and social revolutions. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                      The foundational text for the state-centric theories that came to dominate comparative historical sociology in the 1980s. Argues that the causes of revolutions can and should be historically grounded and generalizable beyond unique cases, and can only be accomplished by taking a structural, nonvoluntarist approach that accounts for international structures and world historical developments.

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                                      • Tilly, Charles. 1985. War making and state making as organized crime. In Bringing the state back in. Edited by Peter Evans, Dietrich Rueschemeyer, and Theda Skocpol, 169–191. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                        DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511628283Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                        Origin of the aphorism that “war makes states, and vice versa”; European state formation occurred through the response of polities to the pressures of geopolitical competition by centralizing their authority within bureaucratic structures capable of waging large-scale, sustained warfare.

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                                        • Tilly, Charles. 1992. Coercion, capital and European states, A.D. 990–1992. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

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                                          Elaboration of his earlier “war makes states” formulation; Tilly argues that the particular nature of geopolitical competition that emerged as a result of the military revolution in the 16th and 17th centuries led to the development of administrative and bureaucratic structures that culminated in the formation of modern national states.

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                                          General Overviews

                                          An excellent starting point and concise overview of the field is provided by Kestnbaum 2009; this review covers the main domains of scholarship within the field of war sociology, its intersections with other fields, and raises important theoretical considerations relevant to current scholarship in the field. A more in-depth treatment of the central topics in the sociology of war is found in Malešević 2010, which would serve well as a textbook for an advanced undergraduate or introductory graduate course. Both Kestnbaum and Malešević deal extensively with issues related to the conceptualization and definition of war and violence, particularly drawing attention to how perceived trends and transformations in the nature of war—especially regarding the “new war” debate—may be informed by conceptual shifts among scholars (see War Types for further information on this debate). Paret 1992 provides an excellent although more focused overview of the connections between Clausewitzian theory and the history of European warfare. Singer 1980 contributes a review of many of the works that formed the early foundations of the sociology of war, particularly those that most directly overlap with international relations and political science and are primarily focused on accounting for the frequency and intensity of international wars for the purposes of revealing macrohistorical patterns in war making. Simons 1999 examines scholarship on war and violence in terms of how these accounts employ anthropologically relevant concepts such as culture, civilization, and nature. Modell and Haggerty 1991 reviews war scholarship conducted in the United States in the wake of the Vietnam War with a focus on the need to link micro- and macrosocial impacts of war through life course analysis; their overview provides insight into the intersections between the sociology of war and military sociology by emphasizing the link between individual soldiers’ experiences and broad sociohistorical transformations. Downs and Murtazashvili 2012 offers an examination of the relationship between military and American academic institutions with a particular focus on the alienation between these institutions as a consequence of the Vietnam era, and the reluctance of many US scholars during the 1960s and 1970s to engage in the topic of war. The authors connect this alienation between the military and the academy during the Vietnam era to the more recent context of the Global War on Terror. An important unifying theme across these overviews is a shared focus on building toward a better understanding of the future of warfare.

                                          • Downs, Donald Alexander, and Ilia Murtazashvili. 2012. Arms and the university: Military presence and the civic education of non-military students. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                            DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511844447Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                            A focused look at the relationship between military and academic institutions in the United States. Provides a useful overview of the war taboo that dramatically impacted the study of war in the American academy during the Vietnam era, as well as an important discussion on the relationship between the military and universities in the post–9/11 era.

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                                            • Kestnbaum, Meyer. 2009. The sociology of war and the military. Annual Review of Sociology 35:235–254.

                                              DOI: 10.1146/annurev-soc-070308-120004Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                              An important review of the major scholarship in the sociology of war, with particular focus on its intersections with military sociology and military history and scholarship that builds on the Clausewitzian relationship between the state, the armed forces, and society.

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                                              • Malešević, Siniša. 2010. The sociology of war and violence. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511777752Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                A textbook style volume that covers the major topics in the field with historical breadth and substantive depth. Features a useful section on 21st-century warfare situated within global patterns of nationalism and economic globalization.

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                                                • Modell, John, and Timothy Haggerty. 1991. The social impact of war. Annual Review of Sociology 17:205–224.

                                                  DOI: 10.1146/annurev.so.17.080191.001225Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                  Review of research conducted in the United States in the wake of the Vietnam War focused on the impact of war on society. Emphasizes the need for life course research that more directly links micro- and macrolevel analyses on war by connecting the stories of individual soldiers to broader societal changes.

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                                                  • Paret, Peter. 1992. Understanding war: Essays on Clausewitz and the history of military power. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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                                                    Important volume exploring the connections and implications of the Clausewitzian trinity in the history of European civilization.

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                                                    • Simons, Anna. 1999. War: Back to the future. Annual Review of Anthropology 28:73–108.

                                                      DOI: 10.1146/annurev.anthro.28.1.73Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                      A review of anthropological and nonanthropological work on war with special emphasis on scholarship that treats war in the context of culture, civilization, and nature. Features an extensive interdisciplinary bibliography.

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                                                      • Singer, J. David. 1980. Accounting for international war: The state of the discipline. Annual Review of Sociology 6:349–367.

                                                        DOI: 10.1146/annurev.so.06.080180.002025Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                        An overview of early research into the causes of war and the conditions of peace, with a particular focus on research that examines variables related to the incidence and intensity of international wars.

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                                                        Data Sources

                                                        Empirical scholarship within the sociology of war relies primarily on three major data collection efforts. Each of these data collection centers provides multiple data sets related to a variety of aspects and dynamics of war. The first concerted effort to develop a centralized data source for war-related research is the Correlates of War project (COW), founded in 1963 at the University of Michigan as a joint effort of the political scientist J. David Singer and the historian Melvin Small with the objective of systematically consolidating scientific information about war and conflict in the post-Napoleonic era. The COW project, currently housed at Penn State University, now hosts fifteen data sets with a wide variety of information available on measures of state power, colonial relationships, trade, territorial transfers, and war type, among many other measures. Singer and Small’s initial effort was aimed at developing consistent and valid operationalizations of concepts such as “state” and “war,” and their definitions continue to form the foundations for operationalizations of measures of war and conflict, albeit these definitions have not been without controversy. The Uppsala Conflict Data Program began collecting data on armed conflict dynamics in the 1970s and in concert with the Peace Research Institute at Oslo (UCDP/PRIO), with data on conflicts in the post–World War II era available since 2002. The major distinction between these data is the criteria by which an armed conflict is included in the data; both data sets define “war” as armed conflict with an annual death threshold of one thousand, but the UCDP/PRIO also includes small and intermediate armed conflicts with a minimum annual death threshold of twenty-five; this difference has allowed UCDP/PRIO data to include a broader range of small-scale and low-intensity conflicts, as well as to pick up the dynamics of conflicts that may go through periods of high and low intensity. Both COW and UCDP/PRIO data are largely focused on and useful for examining differences in conflict dynamics by war type, particularly for comparing differences between “conventional” interstate wars and civil wars or colonial wars. In contrast, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism data, centered at the University of Maryland, is focused on collecting information on nonconventional forms of organized violence, particularly the actions of terrorist groups and state responses to nonstate terrorist activities.

                                                        The Military Revolution

                                                        Much of the macrohistorical scholarship in the sociology of war draws from the concept of a military revolution that occurred in 16th- and 17th-century Europe. The concept of a military revolution was first introduced by the historian Michael Roberts (Roberts 1956) who suggested that the period between 1560 and 1660 witnessed a revolutionary transformation in the tactics, strategy, scale, and impact of war on society. Roberts’s theory was widely cited and accepted as orthodoxy among military historians for two decades until Parker 1976 evaluated these claims and suggested that the theory of a military revolution needed to be reexamined to allow for greater flexibility in when, where, how, and with what consequences these changes took place. Parker’s argument set off an important debate over the precise dynamics and meaning of the military revolution, the central arguments of which are assembled in Rogers 1995. Parker 1988 expands on Roberts’s original formulation of the military revolution to suggest that it was this revolution, and innovations in gunpowder and fortification technologies, that ultimately resulted in Western Europe emerging as the dominant military and political world power. McNeill 1982 and McNeill 1989 focus on the technological and economic aspects of the military revolution, while Paret 1986 and Kestnbaum 2005 extend the impacts of the military revolution into the 18th century to argue that the massive expansion in warfare and centralization of state authority in the war-making process led to the massive incorporation of ordinary people into war.

                                                        • Kestnbaum, Meyer. 2005. Mars revealed: The entry of ordinary people into war among states. In Remaking modernity: Politics, history, and sociology. Edited by Julia Adams, Elizabeth Clemens, and Ann Shola Orloff, 249–285. Durham, NC: Duke Univ. Press.

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                                                          Connects the transformations of the military revolution, particularly the expansion and consolidation of state authority over military force, with the rise of national mobilization and citizen conscription. Also see Mobilization.

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                                                          • McNeill, William H. 1982. The pursuit of power: Technology, armed force, and society since A.D. 1000. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                                            Broad historical examination of transformations in European war making with a focus on technological advancements, market dynamics, and imperial expansion.

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                                                            • McNeill, William H. 1989. The age of gunpowder empires, 1450–1800. Washington, DC: American Historical Association.

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                                                              Focused look at the role of gunpowder technology in European imperial expansion, with a comparison between European, Russian, Islamic, Chinese, and Japanese use of gunpowder technologies and the differences in how these technologies were incorporated into political and cultural systems.

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                                                              • Paret, Peter. 1986. Napoleon and the revolution in war. In The makers of modern strategy from Machiavelli to the nuclear age. Edited by Peter Paret, 123–142. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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                                                                Using the example of the Napoleonic wars at the turn of the 19th century, Paret shows how the military revolution fused with the nationalist dynamics of the French Revolution to cause a massive expansion in the integration and impact of war on society.

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                                                                • Parker, Geoffrey. 1976. The “military revolution,” 1560–1660: A myth? Journal of Modern History 48.2: 195–224.

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                                                                  Parker suggests that although the specifics of the military should be treated with more flexibility, such as acknowledging the externality of some of its causes and the fluidity of when it started in different locations, dramatic changes in war making that occurred during this period are important for understanding current interactions between war and society.

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                                                                  • Parker, Geoffrey. 1988. The military revolution: Military innovation and the rise of the West, 1500–1800. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                    An expansion and elaboration of Rogers’s military revolution theory that emphasizes the ways in which transformations in tactics, organization, and technology during the military revolutionary period of the 16th and 17th centuries led to Europe’s emergence as the dominant political and military world power.

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                                                                    • Roberts, Michael. 1956. The military revolution, 1560–1660: An inaugural lecture delivered before the Queen’s University in Belfast. Belfast, Ireland: Boyd.

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                                                                      Origin of the concept of a military revolution, this lecture was first delivered in 1955 and subsequently published in 1956. Roberts argued that the period from 1560 to 1660 was a period of revolutionary transformation in the tactics, strategy, scale, and impact of war on society.

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                                                                      • Rogers, Clifford, ed. 1995. The military revolution debate: Readings on the military transformation of early modern Europe. Boulder, CO: Westview.

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                                                                        Volume that assembles the leading arguments surrounding the military revolution debate.

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                                                                        Beyond War Makes States

                                                                        The “bring the state back in movement” that emerged in the 1980s and its emphasis on the links between war making and state formation spurred a line of scholarship directed at defining the theoretical scope and understanding the specific mechanisms and conditions that link war and the state. Spruyt 1994 explains variation in state formation by the nature of social coalitions following economic change rather than by different responses to requirements of war making, and argues that while war is an important factor, it is the ability to wage war that needs to be explained by institutional analysis. Ertman 1997 elaborates on the “war makes states” formula in the context of European state formation by emphasizing the importance of the timing of major geopolitical competition that a polity experiences in terms of the type of state that ultimately emerges. Centeno 2002 similarly applies this formula to Latin American state development, arguing that the absence of major geopolitical conflict in Latin America resulted in the absence of highly centralized bureaucratic administrative organizations, ultimately leading to weak states. In this case, it is not that war makes states, but rather that war makes strong states. Katznelson and Shefter 2002 explores how war and market factors influenced the development and institutional outcomes within the United States. While most applications of the “war makes states” formulation have focused on how states wage war with regular military forces, Davis and Pereira 2008 emphasizes that irregular military forces are central to state making. In contrast to the predominantly institutionalist accounts of the links between war making and state formation, Bourdieu 1999 calls for an approach to state formation that takes into account the intertwining nature of multiple forms of capital, including physical and symbolic, in which culture is simultaneously the product of physical force and unconscious mental structures.

                                                                        • Bourdieu, Pierre. 1999. Rethinking the state: Genesis and structure of the bureaucratic field. In State/culture: State-formation after the cultural turn. Edited by George Steinmetz, 53–75. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press.

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                                                                          An important culturalist challenge to institutionalist approaches to understanding the links between war and the state; Bourdieu argues that state formation is the culmination of a process of concentration of different, but interdependent, species of capital that include physical force as well as economic, informational, and symbolic capital.

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                                                                          • Centeno, Miguel. 2002. Blood and debt: War and the nation-state in Latin America. University Park: Pennsylvania State Univ. Press.

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                                                                            Application of Tilly’s “war makes states” principle to Latin America, which argues that weak states emerged in Latin America because the absence of sustained, large-scale conflict there precluded the necessity of developing the extensive and highly centralized bureaucratic administrative organizations necessary to engage in such conflict.

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                                                                            • Davis, Diane, and Anthony Pereira, eds. 2008. Irregular armed forces and their role in politics and state formation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                              Offers an important contribution to theories of how war makes states by suggesting that irregular armed forces are central to state making, particularly emphasizing the ways in which regular and irregular forces interact, at what level of the state irregular forces operate, and how irregular forces interact with various parts of civil society.

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                                                                              • Ertman, Thomas. 1997. Birth of leviathan: Building states and regimes in medieval and early modern Europe. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511529016Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                A notable elaboration of the “war makes states” principle that emphasizes the importance of war timing and state type; war does not make states per se, rather, war makes a specific type of political and administrative infrastructure and this infrastructure is dependent on the timing of the onset of conflict.

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                                                                                • Katznelson, Ira, and Martin Shefter. 2002. Shaped by war and trade: International influences on American political development. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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                                                                                  Volume that explores the influence of war and global economic markets on various institutional and political outcomes in the development of the United States. Notable contributions include an analysis of the impact of the military on early American state building and an examination of the impact of World War I on civic voluntarism.

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                                                                                  • Spruyt, Hendrik. 1994. The sovereign state and its competitors. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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                                                                                    An important theoretical critique of the “war makes states” formulation that suggests that state formation occurs as a response to material and ideological considerations rather than as a response to war making. It is the ability to wage war that should be explained by institutional analysis, rather than war making explaining institutional outcomes.

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                                                                                    The Just War Tradition and Laws of War

                                                                                    The sociology of war intersects most strongly with the field of international relations around scholarship on the just war tradition and modern international laws of war. Drawing from medieval Catholic theology, this tradition asserted that war was justified only when the conditions of jus ad bellum—just cause to go to war—and jus in bello—just conduct in war, were met. The specific criteria of jus ad bellum and jus in bello are thoroughly examined by Walzer 1977, Best 1980, and Best and Andrew 1994. Best 1980 also provides a useful overview of the history of international laws of war. Walzer, a philosopher, offers a modern reexamination of the just war tradition in Just and Unjust Wars, which was written as a direct response to the moral challenges posed by the Vietnam War. Bass 2008 also examines questions of the just cause by exploring the history of humanitarian intervention as a cause of war; Bass emphasizes that as a cause of war, humanitarian intervention has been used inconsistently, in response to public outrage, and when humanitarian-motivated military intervention meets the economic or political interests of the government that uses it. In addition to the moral questions of war, current scholarship on the conduct and right to wage war is focused extensively on the relationship between international law and the conduct of states that are expected to be subject to this law. The role of international law in limiting the excesses of war is rooted in the 17th-century writings of Hugo Grotius, whose three volumes on the Law of War and Peace (Grotius 1962) laid the foundations for theories on the role of international law to limit the devastation of war among the noncombatant populace. Howard, et al. 1994 traces the history of formal and informal restrictions on war in Western political thought and policy, with a particular focus on those regulations related to the conduct of war and culturally constructed understandings of the division between combatant and noncombatant identity. Since the expansion in the codification of international laws of war after World War II, scholarship in this area has primarily focused on the extent to which formal international laws are effective at regulating wars and preventing violence among those populations defined as protected. Best and Andrew 1994 argues that because international law is created by states it is often developed to be used to their advantage and because international law lacks a sovereign power of enforcement it is more normative than legal in nature; as a result, states rely on international law when it is to their advantage and ignore it when it is not. Valentino, et al. 2006 similarly found that in 20th-century wars, signatories to international treaties limiting the use of force on civilians found were no less likely to refrain from attacking civilians than nonsignatories.

                                                                                    • Bass, Gary J. 2008. Freedom’s battle: The origins of humanitarian intervention. New York: Knopf.

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                                                                                      Argues that humanitarian intervention as a cause of war emerged in the early 19th century and has been used inconsistently by governments. Lateral hypocrites fight for humanitarian rights in one place but ignore human rights violations in another, and historical hypocrites fight against the same human rights abuses that they have committed in the past.

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                                                                                      • Best, Geoffrey. 1980. Humanity in warfare. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

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                                                                                        Useful historical overview of the development of international laws of war with a particular focus on issues related to jus in bello. Best grapples with the tension between the inherent brutality of war and human efforts to curb its excesses.

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                                                                                        • Best, Geoffrey, and Francis Andrew. 1994. War and law since 1945. Oxford: Clarendon.

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                                                                                          Historical examination of the influence of military custom on the development of international law and the relationship between international law and the conduct of war among states. States tend to treat international law as normatively, rather than legally binding, and will ignore international law in war when it is not to the state’s advantage.

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                                                                                          • Grotius, Hugo. 1962. The law of war and peace. Translated and edited by Francis W. Kelsey. Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill.

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                                                                                            Classic text on the potential for international law to restrain the excesses of war and protect noncombatants from the devastation of war. Also see Classic Works.

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                                                                                            • Howard, Michael, George J. Andreopoulos, and Mark R. Shulman. 1994. The laws of war: Constraints on warfare in the Western world. New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press.

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                                                                                              Volume that traces the development of formal law and informal custom related to the conduct of war in Western political tradition.

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                                                                                              • Valentino, Benjamin, Paul Huth, and Sara Croco. 2006. Covenants without the sword: International law and the protection of civilians in times of war. World Politics 58.3: 339–377.

                                                                                                DOI: 10.1353/wp.2007.0004Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                Statistical analysis of the use of force against civilians in interstate wars between 1900 and 2003; finds that signatories to international treaties are no less likely to use force against civilians than noncivilians, and that civilian targeting is most likely when the combatant believes it will coerce their enemy into early surrender or diminish their war production capacity.

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                                                                                                • Walzer, Michael. 1977. Just and unjust wars: A moral argument with historical illustrations. New York: Basic Books.

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                                                                                                  Influential philosophical examination of the just war tradition and its role in modern warfare. Walzer introduces that concept of moral realism that he argues has characterized American war policy in which ethical war is defined in terms of constraining the actions of war to that which is necessary to win.

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                                                                                                  Mobilization

                                                                                                  The link between war making and society is often examined through questions surrounding mobilization, or the processes through which the populace is brought into war participation. Many scholars focus on the period at the end of the military revolution, at the turn of the 19th century, as a period of important transition in how populations were mobilized for war. An overview of this process is provided by Howard 1976, whose classification scheme for ages of warfare is largely defined in terms of the patterns of mobilization within each period; from the end of the 17th to the beginning of the 19th centuries, emerging nationalization trends shifted mobilization patterns toward the mass incorporation of citizens into the war-making process. Avant 2000 suggests that the material and ideational transformations connected with the rise of nationalism were not enough to explain the emergence and success of citizen-based conscription, but rather it was these factors in combination with the early successes of French and Prussian citizens armies that set in motion a path-dependent process whereby other European leaders came to see citizen mobilization as an increasingly viable option. The trajectories and implications of this process have been thoroughly explored by Kestnbaum 2002 and Kestnbaum 2005, which stress that these processes of nationalization reorganized the relationship between the populace and their government from subject and ruler to one of mutual obligation between citizens and state. This process was particularly evident in the levee en masse of the French revolutionary era, from which Moran and Waldron 2003 have argued an enduring mythology developed of spontaneous, citizen-driven mobilization rooted in nationalistic passions; this mythology influenced mobilization efforts and political rhetoric surrounding war for centuries to come, particularly in the context of the world wars of the 20th century. Horne 1997 and Chickering and Förster 2006 collect contributions from leading scholars which examine how these processes of nationalist attachments and citizen mobilization played out in the context of Europe during World War I. A more recent example is provided by Flynn 1993, who examines the role of politics in the American draft system in World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War contexts, as well as the conditions that ultimately led to its dismantling after 1973.

                                                                                                  • Avant, Deborah. 2000. From mercenaries to citizen armies: Explaining change in the practice of war. International Organization 54.1: 41–72

                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1162/002081800551118Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                    Explains the shift from mercenary professional armies to citizen armies as a consequence of a path-dependent process whereby the early successes of French and Prussian citizen-based armies influenced subsequent decision making among European leaders to shift toward citizen-based mobilization.

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                                                                                                    • Chickering, Roger, and Stig Förster. 2006. Great War, total war: Combat and mobilization on the Western Front, 1914–1918. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                      Volume that analyzes World War I as a total war, emphasizing the relationship between nationalist-based mass mobilization and the blurring boundaries between combatant and noncombatant identities.

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                                                                                                      • Flynn, George Q. 1993. The draft, 1940–1973. Lawrence: Univ. of Kansas Press.

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                                                                                                        Analysis of the American experience with the Selective Service System from the beginning of World War II through the Vietnam War. Argues that the draft was developed and maintained in response to civilian political trends, not military needs, and that it was the selective nature of this system and the inequities it produced that ultimately led to its elimination in 1973.

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                                                                                                        • Horne, John N., ed. 1997. State, society, and mobilization in Europe during the First World War. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511562891Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                          Volume analyzing the political and cultural mobilizations of European populations during World War I; contributions focus on popular support for the war effort, the erosion of support in the face of trench warfare, and the relationship between strong political support, national integration, and success in the war.

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                                                                                                          • Howard, Michael. 1976. War in European history. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                            Historical overview of the interactions between government, the military, and society in Europe that documents the transition between the 17th and 19th centuries when nationalization trends shifted mobilization patterns toward the mass incorporation of citizens into the war-making process.

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                                                                                                            • Kestnbaum, Meyer. 2002. Citizen-soldiers, national service and the mass army: The birth of conscription in revolutionary Europe and North America. Comparative Social Research 20:117–144.

                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1016/S0195-6310(02)80025-4Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                              Traces the development and trajectories of the relationship between citizenship and compulsory military service, emphasizing the relationship between institutional arrangements and the manifestation of the relationship between citizen and state at specific historical junctures.

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                                                                                                              • Kestnbaum, Meyer. 2005. Mars revealed: The entry of ordinary people into war among states. In Remaking modernity: Politics, history, and sociology. Edited by Julia Adams, Elizabeth Clemens, and Ann Shola Orloff. Durham, NC: Duke Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                Argues that a revolution in war occurred at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries in the United States and Western Europe in which participation in war was defined in terms of national attachments and a sense of mutual obligation between citizens and the state. Also see Military Revolution.

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                                                                                                                • Moran, Daniel, and Arthur Waldron, eds. 2003. The people in arms: Military myth and national mobilization since the French Revolution. Papers presented at the Seminar on Force in History, held at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                  Volume that examines the enduring influence of the mythology of the levee en masse on subsequent mobilization efforts. Also see Signification and Memory.

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                                                                                                                  Combat

                                                                                                                  The study of combat within the sociology of war focuses extensively on the relationships between the macrolevel structures, organization, and social context of wars and the individual and small group experiences of battle among war fighters. Much of the scholarship on combat focuses on questions of what motivates and sustains soldiers in battle. The classic survey of US Army soldiers during World War II, Stouffer, et al. 1949, found that it was informal group commitment, rather than commitment to the formal military institution or the coercive power of the military to enforce participation, that was a primary motivation for combat. Marshall 1978, which consists of interviews with combat veterans, also found that the social pressure to conform to group norms and display courage in the face of danger was a primary motivation in combat, however, allegations that Marshall’s data was invented have shrouded this work with controversy. Marshall’s grandson, the investigative journalist John Douglas Marshall, conducted and published a thorough investigation of the critiques surrounding Marshall’s work (Marshall 1993), ultimately concluding that despite some inconsistencies, the bulk of S. L. A. Marshall’s findings were accurate and continue to hold scholarly merit. Little 1969 suggests that the dyad, or “buddy system,” was the most important driver of combat motivation. Others have disagreed that primary group commitment is a central driver of combat performance. Studying the experiences of soldiers in the Vietnam War, Moskos 1970 argued for the need to complicate the primary group commitment premise, instead emphasizing complex interactions between individual self-interest, latent ideology, and primary group commitment. The Bartov 1992 case study of the Nazi Wehrmacht also challenged earlier assertions that downplayed the role of ideology in motivating combat. Bartov also links much of the brutality and commitment that the Wehrmacht soldiers exhibited to fear, a finding that Collins 1989 also suggests is a major combat motivation, arguing that processes of fear and overcoming fear of the enemy makes it possible to achieve the primary objective of modern, nation-centric war, which is to defeat the social organization of the enemy. The link between social organization, context, and the experience of battle is explored in depth in Keegan 1976, an influential historiographical study of three major battles in which he argues that the experiences and outcomes of those who fight in combat are inextricably linked to the histories of the people and societies involved.

                                                                                                                  • Bartov, Omer. 1992. The conduct of war: Soldiers and the barbarization of warfare. Journal of Modern History 64:S32–S45.

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                                                                                                                    Case study of the Nazi Wehrmacht to understand the conditions that lead to particular patterns of collaboration, resistance, and brutality in battle.

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                                                                                                                    • Collins, Randall. 1989. Sociological theory, disaster research, and war. Paper presented at a symposium held at the College of William and Mary, 15–16 May 1986. In Social structure and disaster. Edited by Gary A. Kreps, 365–385. Newark: Univ. of Delaware Press.

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                                                                                                                      Offers a historical and narrative review of modern warfare and suggests that the goal of war—to breakdown the social organization of the enemy—is only achieved through processes of fear and overcoming fear of the enemy.

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                                                                                                                      • Keegan, John. 1976. The face of battle. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin.

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                                                                                                                        An influential study on the history, experience, and impact of combat on those who fight. Offers a comparative historical analysis of the experience of three major battles—Agincourt (1415), Waterloo (1815), and the Somme (1916)—to develop a theory of the nature, trend, and abolition of battle.

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                                                                                                                        • Little, Roger W. 1969. Buddy relations and combat performance. In The new military: Changing patterns of organization. Edited by Morris Janowitz, 195–224. New York: Norton.

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                                                                                                                          Suggests that commitment to the primary group as the central driver of combat motivation is typically expressed as a dyadic buddy relationship.

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                                                                                                                          • Marshall, S. L. A. 1978. Men against fire: The problem of battle command in future war. Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith.

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                                                                                                                            Interviews with combat soldiers during World War II found that the majority of men do not fight out of allegiance to abstract ideals or morals, but due to feelings of unity, fear of letting down others in their group, and fear of being characterized as cowardly and dishonorable. Social pressure, more so than training or discipline, binds men together. Originally published in 1947.

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                                                                                                                            • Marshall, John Douglas. 1993. Reconciliation road: A family odyssey of war and honor. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                              Memoir of the investigative journalist and estranged grandson of S. L. A. Marshall on his journey to find the truth in the controversy surrounding S. L. A. Marshall’s research on World War II. Ultimately, John Marshall concludes that despite some inconsistencies in his research, the elder Marshall’s work represents a valuable and largely accurate scholarly contribution.

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                                                                                                                              • Moskos, Charles C. 1970. The American enlisted man: The rank and file in today’s military. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

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                                                                                                                                Offers an elaboration and complication of the premise that primary group commitment motivates combat performance, instead suggesting that it is a complex interaction between individual self-interest, latent ideology, and primary group commitment that motivate combat performance.

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                                                                                                                                • Stouffer, Samuel A., Arthur A. Lumsdaine, Marion Harper Lumsdaine, et al. 1949. The American soldier: Combat and its aftermath. Vol. 2. Princeton: NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                  Classic study of the US Army during World War II that surveyed the combat experiences of deployed soldiers. Survey results showed that although the army had the coercive power to enforce participation in battle, it was commitment to informal groups that was a primary motivation for soldiers to continue fighting.

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                                                                                                                                  Mass Killing and Genocide

                                                                                                                                  In its focus on the impact of war on society, scholarship in the sociology of war has focused extensively on questions of mass killing, the targeting of civilians, and genocide. Straus 2007 provides an excellent overview of recent scholarship in genocide studies and argues that greater conceptual clarity and integration with literature on political violence more broadly is needed. Arendt has provided the theoretical foundations for the study of state-perpetrated mass violence, arguing in the Origins of Totalitarianism (Arendt 1976) that it is the fusion of racism with bureaucracy that creates the conditions whereby totalitarian regimes can emerge and commit mass killing as racism provides the excuse and bureaucracy provides the deflection of responsibility that makes genocide possible. Scarry 1987 likewise theorizes the links between war, government, and violence by bringing into focus the explicit goals of war to injure bodies, and that as particular bodies become politicized in different political and social contexts, they become the targets of the violence of war. Gellately and Kiernan 2003 offers a comprehensive overview of the field of genocide studies with a collection of essays by leading experts in sociology as well as political science and international relations on the processes and events surrounding incidents of mass murder throughout the world in the 20th century. The contributors to this volume focus on a variety of conditions that gave rise to incidents of mass murder—including past experiences of total war, racism, and modernity—and emphasize the unique barbarity of 20th-century wars. Many other sociologists disagree, however, that 20th-century warfare was unique in its barbarity. Rather, Bauman 1989, Bartov 1996, Horne 2002, and Mann 2004 have all made compelling arguments that 20th-century mass killings, and the Holocaust in particular, were the product of the advancements of modern scientific rationality and civil society, not a regression to primitive barbarism.

                                                                                                                                  • Arendt, Hannah. 1976. The origins of totalitarianism. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

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                                                                                                                                    A theoretical exploration of totalitarianism as a specific kind of political system that seeks to enact total control over the lives of individuals, particularly through the use of terror against its citizens. Also see Gender, Race, Ethnicity, and Social Boundaries. Originally published in 1951.

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                                                                                                                                    • Bartov, Omar. 1996. Murder in our midst: The Holocaust, industrial killing, and representation. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                      The Holocaust was a product of the modern condition, an example of industrial killing that incorporated ideals of modernity such as bureaucratic efficiency to make genocide imaginable; because of its embeddedness in modernity, mass killings like the Holocaust are still possible.

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                                                                                                                                      • Bauman, Zygmunt. 1989. Modernity and the Holocaust. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                        Situates the Holocaust within modernist rationality, not a regression to primitive barbarism as it is typically regarded. Mass killing on the scale of the Holocaust is only possible with modern rationality and civil society because these processes allow society to be conceived of as something that can and should be scientifically controlled.

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                                                                                                                                        • Gellately, Robert, and Ben Kiernan, eds. 2003. The specter of genocide: Mass murder in historical perspective. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511819674Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                          Volume that collects studies on incidents of mass murder by leading experts from a range of scholarly disciplines, with a focus on the 20th century and an international and comparative perspective.

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                                                                                                                                          • Horne, John N. 2002. Civilian populations and wartime violence: Towards an historical analysis. International Social Science Journal 54.4: 483–490.

                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1111/1468-2451.00402Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                            Three processes embedded in the development of modern Western civilization since the Enlightenment have made civilian populations more prone to suffer the effects of wartime violence: the concept of popular sovereignty, industrialization and economic mobilization, and the ascendance of European power as a product of the military revolution.

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                                                                                                                                            • Mann, Michael. 2004. The dark-side of democracy: Explaining ethnic cleansing. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511817274Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                              In-depth theoretical and empirical study of the causes of murderous ethnic cleansing which argues that it is modern democratization that makes mass murder possible.

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                                                                                                                                              • Scarry, Elaine. 1987. The body in pain: The making and unmaking of the world. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                Theoretical exploration of the use of violence in war, drawing explicit attention to the ways in which bodies become politicized in different social contexts and that it is the politicization of bodies that makes them targets for violence in war, as the goal of war is to out-injure your opponent.

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                                                                                                                                                • Straus, Scott. 2007. Review: Second-generation comparative research on genocide. World Politics 59.3: 476–501.

                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1017/S004388710002089XSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                  Comprehensive overview of genocide literature that identifies theoretical and methodological issues within genocide studies and argues for greater conceptual clarity and a bridging of genocide with literature on political violence more broadly.

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                                                                                                                                                  Gender, Race, Ethnicity, and Social Boundaries

                                                                                                                                                  The manner in which wars create, reify, and alter social identity boundaries has been a central focus for sociologists of war. Kestnbaum and Mann 2004, for example, have suggested that the processes through which citizen conscription became established at the end of the 18th century hardened existing gender boundaries by transforming the conception of the masculine ideal into one that was defined in terms of military service. Geva 2011 likewise argues that the institutional origins of the Selective Service System in the United States during World War I contributed to the reification and institutionalization of gender and racial inequalities. Segal 1989, an analysis of US military manpower policy, emphasizes the mutually transforming relationship between the expansion of citizenship rights to women and minorities and manpower policy. After World War II, scholars were particularly interested in understanding the role that racism played in driving the Nazi regime’s power. Arendt 1976 theorizes the link between racism and totalitarian power, arguing that it is combination of racism with bureaucracy that creates the conditions in which the destruction of totalitarianism can thrive. Dower 1986 similarly suggests that war can both draw upon and reify racial cleavages; his example from the Pacific theater of World War II highlights how the racist rhetoric and logic that was used by both the American and Japanese forces to cast their enemy in subhuman terms contributed to the greater barbarity of the Pacific war compared to the conflict between American and German forces in the European theater.

                                                                                                                                                  • Arendt, Hannah. 1976. The origins of totalitarianism. New York: Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich.

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                                                                                                                                                    Theoretical analysis of the links between race thinking, racism, and political power in the context of imperialism, colonization, and totalitarianism. Argues that it is the combination of racism and bureaucracy that creates the conditions in which totalitarian destruction can thrive. Also see Mass Killing and Genocide.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Dower, John W. 1986. War without mercy: Race and power in the Pacific war. New York: Pantheon.

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                                                                                                                                                      Study of the dynamics of the Pacific war during World War II; argues that the Pacific war displayed greater barbarity than the European theater because of racist rhetoric and logic used by both the Americans and Japanese that cast their enemy in subhuman terms.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Geva, Dorit. 2011. Different and unequal? Breadwinning, dependency deferments and the gendered origins of the U.S. selective service system. Armed Forces & Society 37.4: 598–618.

                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1177/0095327X09358654Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                        Links patterns of social inequality to the institutional arrangements surrounding the establishment of the US Selective Service System during World War I; by defining legitimate deferments in terms of men’s breadwinning, the US Selective Service System reproduced and institutionalized women as dependents and African American men as nonproviders.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Kestnbaum, Meyer, and Emily Mann. 2004. Arms and the man: War and hegemonic masculinity at the turn of the eighteenth century. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, San Francisco, 14 August 2004.

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                                                                                                                                                          Analysis of early conscription patterns, argues that conscription functioned to reify gender differentiation and bring gender under the war-making apparatus by defining the masculine ideal in terms of military service.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Segal, David R. 1989. Recruiting for Uncle Sam: Citizenship and military manpower policy. Lawrence: Univ. of Kansas Press.

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                                                                                                                                                            Thorough examination of the influence of social trends on military manpower policy in the United States. Emphasis on the processes through which women and minorities gained citizenship rights and how the expansion of these rights were linked with push and pull factors in military manpower needs and policies.

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                                                                                                                                                            War Types

                                                                                                                                                            In recent decades, the sociology of war has increasingly attended to questions surrounding the differences in the dynamics of different types of wars, how different types of wars impact society, as well as the temporal trends in war dynamics. The contributions in Strachan and Scheipers 2011 offer an excellent overview of scholarship on temporal trends in the dynamics of warfare. Downes 2008 provides an empirical analysis on the use of civilian targeting in interstate wars and stresses the importance of war type in explaining the causes of civilian victimization. Gleditsch, et al. 2002 provides an empirical assessment of the prevalence of conflicts by war type since 1946; this data has most recently been updated through 2011 by Themnér and Wallensteen 2012.

                                                                                                                                                            • Downes, Alexander B. 2008. Targeting civilians in war. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                              Links war type with the targeting of civilians in war; argues that civilian victimization is most likely to be used by governments under conditions of protracted wars of attrition and territorial conquests and is prompted by desperation to end the war quickly.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Gleditsch, Nils Petter, Peter Wallensteen, Mikael Eriksson, Margareta Sollenberg, and Håvard Strand. 2002. Armed conflict, 1946–2001: A new dataset. Journal of Peace Research 39.5: 615–637.

                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1177/0022343302039005007Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                Empirical assessment of the prevalence of wars by type in the post–World War II era, includes an evaluation of data issues surrounding the measurement of wars.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Strachan, Hew, and Sibylle Scheipers, eds. 2011. The changing character of war. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                  Volume collecting a range of scholarship on the temporal transformations in war dynamics from leading experts on the history of warfare.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Themnér, Lotta, and Peter Wallensteen. 2012. Armed conflict, 1946–2011. Journal of Peace Research 49.4: 565–575.

                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1177/0022343312452421Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                    Most recent update of data on of the prevalence of wars by type in the post–World War II era.

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                                                                                                                                                                    Total War

                                                                                                                                                                    After the devastation of the 20th-century’s world wars, scholars sought to understand how war dynamics had shifted from the limited wars of earlier centuries, in which resource and social mobilization of wars were restricted to only what was necessary to disarm the opponent, to the total wars of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, in which whole societies were mobilized in an effort to fully destroy the opponent. Chickering, et al. 2005 offers an excellent overview of the issues surrounding efforts to define total war in a series of case studies on the participants of World War II. Förster and Nagler 1997 collects scholarship on the American Civil War and the German wars of unification as examples of the early emergence of the total war phenomenon; its contributions connect this emergence with the complementary processes of industrialization and nationalization that defined the emergence of the modern state. Aron 1985 similarly characterized total war as the natural outcome of the culmination of processes associated with the techniques of industrialization and the passions of nationalism. Kassimeris 2006 offers a collection of essays from leading experts on total warfare to explore the conditions that led participants of 20th-century wars to act with greater barbarity and brutality than in previous wars—the explanations offered here focus on cultural, ideological, and racist conditions that led to the barbarization of war in the 20th century.

                                                                                                                                                                    • Aron, Raymond. 1985. The century of total war. Lanham, MD: Univ. of America Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                      An early example of scholarly efforts to understand the causes and dynamics of total wars, with a particular focus on understanding how the Cold War emerged as a consequence of the devastation of the total world wars. Originally published in 1965.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Chickering, Roger, Stig Förster, and Bernd Greiner. 2005. A world at total war: Global conflict and the politics of destruction, 1937–1945. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                        Volume of leading experts on the history of the world wars that provides a series of case studies on the participants of World War II to define and elaborate on the specific dynamics of total war.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Förster, Stig, and Jörg Nagler. 1997. On the road to total war: The American Civil War and the German Wars of Unification, 1861–1871. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                          Volume that collects scholarship on the American Civil War and the German wars of unification as case studies of the emergence of the phenomenon of total war that would define the first half of the 20th century.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Kassimeris, George, ed. 2006. The barbarization of warfare. New York: New York Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                            Volume that assembles essays from leading experts on 20th-century warfare to examine questions of why the participants in 20th-century wars exhibited such a greater level of barbarity and brutality than in previous wars. Explanations focus on the cultural, ideological, and racist conditions surrounding 20th-century wars.

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                                                                                                                                                                            Civil War

                                                                                                                                                                            After the end of the Cold War, issues of war type again took center stage in the sociology of war as scholars increasingly took note of an apparent shift in the dynamics of war, with large-scale interstate wars seemingly less prevalent and less important than civil wars and substate conflicts driven by ethnic and religious politics. Gurr 1994 as well as Fearon and Laitin 2003 argue that this trend is not a consequence of the end of the Cold War bipolar superpower system, but is rather the result of the culmination of protracted civil wars that have been ongoing since the 1950s and 1960s. Kalyvas 2006 offers an in-depth analysis of the dynamics of civil wars, suggesting that they have garnered so much scholarly attention because of their proclivity toward irregular and guerrilla tactics that result in greater barbarity and protracted length as compared to interstate wars.

                                                                                                                                                                            • Fearon, James D., and David D. Laitin. 2003. Ethnicity, insurgency, and civil war. American Political Science Review 97.1: 75–90.

                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1017/S0003055403000534Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                              Analysis of the prevalence of civil wars since the end of the Cold War. Disputes the theory that civil wars are caused by ethnic grievances and instead suggests that conditions inherent in weak states lead to civil wars regardless of the nature of ethnic grievances.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Gurr, Ted Robert. 1994. Peoples against states: Ethnopolitical conflict and the changing world system. International Studies Quarterly 38.3 (September): 347–377.

                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.2307/2600737Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                Influential study of the prevalence and dynamics of conflicts driven by ethnic divisions; argues that the end of the Cold War merely exacerbated the already ongoing trend of increasing ethnopolitical conflicts by increasing the number of states that contained the conditions that accompany these conflicts.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Kalyvas, Stathis. 2006. The logic of violence in civil war. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511818462Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                  Theoretical and empirical assessment of the dynamics of civil wars; argues that the tendency of civil war combatants to engage in irregular and guerilla tactics results in the greater barbarity and protracted length of civil wars as compared with other types of conflict.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  The New War Debate

                                                                                                                                                                                  The most recent development in the sociology of war has been the emergence of the new war debate. The new war concept was first introduced by Kaldor 1999, whose author argued that recent patterns of globalization have led to a transformation in the tactics, goals, and financing of conflict; new war is characterized by a breakdown of categories and the erosion of boundaries, particularly regarding battle lines, territory, belligerents and victims, and political and ideological aims. Although Kaldor coined the term, the concept that a fundamental shift in the nature of warfare was emerging at the end of the 20th century and beginning of the 21st century was earlier suggested by van Creveld 1991. The new war perspective is typically presented in one of two forms. First are globalization arguments, typified by Kaldor 1999 and Bauman 2001, which focus on the changing patterns of war making as one aspect of larger patterns of globalization in which state sovereignty has become decentered and conflicts have become transnational. Second are regressive arguments, typified by Mueller 2004, who argues that while the dynamics of war have transformed in the post–Cold War era, the patterns these wars exhibit are more old than new, that is, new wars exhibit characteristics of premodern modes of fighting, including the dispersion of control of violence among a variety of groups not organized by sovereign states. The new war perspective has met with considerable criticism. Chojnacki 2003 suggests there is not yet enough empirical evidence to warrant a distinction between old and new wars, while Melander, et al. 2009 refute one major claim of the new war thesis: that post–Cold War conflicts have exhibited greater devastation among civilian populations than precious wars. Kalyvas 2001 and Newman 2004 argue that the new war perspective lacks conceptual clarity, and that the tendency to perceive contemporary conflicts as fundamentally different from those of the past is due to shifts in analytical definitions and categorizations and a lack of historical perspective among scholars.

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Bauman, Zygmunt. 2001. Wars of the globalization era. European Journal of Social Theory 4.1: 11–28.

                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1177/13684310122224966Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                    Drawing from the Clausewitzian trinity, argues that war continues to be politics by other means, but that the aims of war have shifted, allowing two new types of war to emerge: globalizing wars and globalization-induced wars.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Chojnacki, Sven. 2003. Anything new or more of the same? Wars and military interventions in the international system, 1946–2003. Global Society 20.1 (January): 25–46.

                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1080/13600820500405442Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                      Empirical evaluation of the new war argument; argues that the currently available data does not support the idea that there has been a fundamental transformation in the type of wars being fought since the end of the Cold War.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • Kaldor, Mary. 1999. New and old wars: Organized violence in a global era. Oxford: Polity.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        Influential work that defined the new war perspective; argues that processes of globalization led to the development of a new type of organized violence that developed in the 1980s and 1990s, distinct from wars of the modern era in terms of organization, tactics, aims, and methods of finance.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Kalyvas, Stathis. 2001. “New” and “old” civil wars: A valid distinction? World Politics 54.1: 99–118.

                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1353/wp.2001.0022Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                          Counterargument to the new war perspective that argues that the perceived transformation in the nature of civil wars is due to conceptual shifts in how analysts defined and categorize civil wars, rather than a change in the patterns of war.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Melander, Erik, Magnus Öberg, and Jonathon Hall. 2009. Are “new wars” more atrocious? Battle intensity, civilians killed and forced migration before and after the end of the Cold War. European Journal of International Relations 15.3: 505–536.

                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1177/1354066109338243Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                            Empirical analysis that refutes one claim of the new war thesis, that the civilian to military casualty ratio has reversed in the post–Cold War period. Evidence indicates that the human impact of civil conflict is considerably lower in the post–Cold War than previously.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • Mueller, John. 2004. The remnants of war. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              Argues that the conventional wars of the modern era are disappearing and are being replaced by conflict that is more characterized by banditry and criminality reminiscent of premodern conflict than the organized political violence of recent centuries.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              • Newman, Edward. 2004. The “new wars” debate: A historical perspective is needed. Security Dialogue 35.2: 173–189

                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1177/0967010604044975Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                Counterargument to the new war perspective that suggests that the distinction between new and old wars is exaggerated and does not stand up to scrutiny, particularly when put into historical perspective. The tendency to identify common patterns in “new” wars ignores important differences among them.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                • van Creveld, Martin. 1991. The transformation of war. New York: Free Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  Early conceptualization of the shift in war dynamics in the post–Cold War era that argues that the Clausewitzian model that distinguishes between governments, militaries, and people is irrelevant in the current era in which the boundaries between these spheres in war are increasingly blurred.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  Signification and Memory

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Scholarship on the signification and memory of war is an articulation of von Clausewitz’s third sphere of war making: the impact of wars on the people who wage them, and specifically, on the nonmaterial, cultural impact of war in society. This area of scholarship focuses extensively on the experience and collective memory of war, particularly as it regards the creation of social myths. Moran and Waldron 2003 uses the example of the levee en masse during the French Revolution as an experience that established a durable social myth about the power of ideologically motivated popular action that has served as the basis for political rhetoric surrounding military mobilization throughout the conscription era. Schwartz 1996 reflects on how the collective memory of Lincoln was used to create a social myth that was utilized by political leaders to justify and motivate participation in World War II. Mosse 1990, Bartov 1996, and Olick 2007 draw from modernity theories to suggest that the processes of collective memory making and cultural representation in the world war period sanitized and glorified the true horrors of war. Winter 1995, however, rejects the modernist perspective and suggests that processes of collective memory making in the aftermath of World War I, rather than being an outgrowth of modernist cultural rationality, drew instead upon traditional cultural frames of grief.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Bartov, Omer. 1996. Murder in our midst: The Holocaust, industrial killing, and representation. Oxford and New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Explores the imagery, representation, and meaning making of the experience of the Holocaust, emphasizing how literature, film, museums, and other mediums of cultural signification create a “spectacle of the real” that anesthetizes the true horror of the experience.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Moran, Daniel, and Arthur Waldron, eds. 2003. The people in arms: Military myth and national mobilization since the French Revolution. Papers presented at the Seminar on Force in History, held at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      Volume focused on how the mythology that developed around the levee en masse in revolutionary France as a spontaneous expression of popular ideology created a new era in military and political history by making popular mobilization central to powerful political rhetoric. See also Mobilization.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Mosse, George L. 1990. Fallen soldiers: Reshaping the memory of the world wars. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        Analysis of how the meaning of the massive scale of death among soldiers in World War I was shaped into a myth of glorious sacrifice through memorials and monuments and trivialized through war souvenirs, ultimately fostering the greater public acceptance of war and nationalistic zeal that led into World War II.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Olick, Jeffrey K. 2007. The politics of regret: On collective memory and historical responsibility. New York: Routledge.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thorough examination of the processes surrounding the development of collective memory in postwar Germany. Introduces the concept of the politics of regret, which as an outgrowth of modernity and modern conceptions of good and evil necessitates the perpetrators of past traumas to express regret and offer restitution to victims.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Schwartz, Barry. 1996. Memory as a cultural system: Abraham Lincoln in World War II. American Sociological Review 61.5: 908–927.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.2307/2096461Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Offers a social frame analysis of collective memory that examines how images and cultural representations of Lincoln were used by political leaders to legitimize, justify, and motivate the population to participate in World War II.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Winter, Jay M. 1995. Sites of memory, sites of mourning: The Great War in European cultural history. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              A thorough examination of processes of collective recollection and meaning making by the survivors of the Great War; emphasizes how communal mourning helped survivors make sense of the war experience by drawing upon traditional sources of meaning as well as creating a new repertoire for the meaning of war.

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