Open lecture: The chronic condition of war: A critique of evental thinking in the study of global warfare


Welcome to an open lecture with Jairus Victor Grove, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Hawaii, Mānoa.

Despite our long-standing attempts at apprehending the phenomenon of war as the occurrence of punctuated bouts of organised violence than can be delineated as discrete events, we are today no closer to understanding war, particularly in regard to the patterns of the supposedly war-like violence that travel with war.

This lecture asks instead whether war is an event at all. What if war is more like the weather - always present but only chronically catastrophic? War gathers and war dissipates, but war is never absent. What would this grammatical shift for the inquiry into war do to the way we chase after it? The lecture will explore what a particular structure of enmity rather than a particular form or intensity of fighting may tell us about war, allowing us to consider different temporalities, recurrences, and durations of war that far exceed particular bundles of battles. To experiment with this approach, the lecturer will be looking at the multi-century American war with Black and Indigenous peoples as two continuous wars rather than as disconnected, war-like, or war-adjacent phenomena.

Jairus Victor Grove is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. His 2019 book Savage Ecology: War and Geopolitics at the End of the World is available on Duke University of Press. He is currently working on a book about the chronic character of contemporary life.

The event is co-hosted by the Critical War Studies Research Group, Department of War Studies and Military History and the Department of Political Science at the Swedish defence University.

Please note that you need to register at the entrance before the event starts.

The lecture is also broadcasted live online:

More information about the event

Date: May 30, 2023
Time: 1:00 PM—3:00 PM
Location: Cardell, Försvarshögskolan and Zoom


Antoine Bousquet

Associate Professor, Senior Lecturer, Director of studies +46 8-55342964