Targeting the ontology of war:from Clausewitz to Baudrillard

Nordin, Astrid and Öberg, Dan (2015) Targeting the ontology of war:from Clausewitz to Baudrillard. Millennium : Journal of International Studies, 43 (2). pp. 392-419. ISSN 0305-8298

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Against a surprising level of agreement between Clausewitz, contemporary military doctrines and critical war studies on an ontology of war as fighting, we suggest that the study of contemporary warfare needs to focus more on war as processing. Through Jean Baudrillard we argue that at least some of what is referred to as ‘war’ is no longer characterised by encounters through fighting. We exemplify our argument by how the repetitive battle-rhythm of military targeting strives for perfect war. What remains is not war as an object in itself, but a reified ‘war’ that obscures the disappearance of that very object. The debate on war contributes to the reification of such a war, as an imperative telling us: ‘we have a concept, you must learn to think through it’.

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Journal Article
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Millennium : Journal of International Studies
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03 Nov 2015 19:17
Last Modified:
28 May 2023 02:41