This edited collection explores aspects of contemporary war that affect average people —physically, emotionally, and ethically through activities ranging from combat to television viewing.
The aim of this work is to supplement the usual emphasis on strategic and national issues of war in the interest of theorizing aspects of war from the point of view of individual experience, be the individual a combatant, a casualty, a supporter, opponent, recorder, veteran, distant viewer, an international lawyer, an ethicist or other intellectual. This volume presents essays that push the boundaries of war studies and war thinking, without promoting one kind of theory or methodology for studying war as experiential politics, but with an eye to exploring the possibilities and encouraging others to take up the new agenda. It includes new and challenging thinking on humanitarianism and war, new wars in the Third World, gender and war thinking, and the sense of the body within war that inspires recent UN resolutions. It also gives examples that can change our understanding of who is located where doing what with respect to war —women warriors in Sierra Leone, war survivors living with their memories, and even an artist drawing something seemingly intangible about war —the arms trade.
The unique aspect of this book is its purposive pulling together of foci and theoretical and methodological perspectives from a number of disciplines on a variety of contemporary wars. Arguably, war is an activity that engages the attention, the politics, and the lives of many people. To theorize it with those lives and perspectives in mind, recognizing the political contexts of war, is long overdue.
This inter-disciplinary book will be of much interest to students of war studies, critical security studies, gender studies, sociology and IR in general.