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Thinking war through: Peaceful scholars and hardheaded militaries?

The dissertation project examines prevalent conceptions of scholars and militaries, and how these conceptions shape scientific debates about intertwined relations between military and scholarly communities.

Scholars have often been portrayed as cultivated and open-minded individuals with a moderating influence upon our ideas about war and military affairs. Governmental servants in general, and militaries in particular, have tended to be portrayed as bureaucratic, narrow-minded and violent. The dissertation project examines if these images have contributed to skewed debates and problematic conceptions, and if simplified images of scholars and militaries contribute to polarized debates.

Reception and conception of military thought

The empirical research seeks to re-examine how scholars and militaries have interacted within the reception and conception of military thought. The empirical focus is on developments within US military thought during the late 2000s and early 2010s. The formation of overarching conceptions and ideas concerning military affairs, that enabled major US policy changes and shifts within academic debates, are explored within this research. A focus on robots, AI intelligence, the reemergence of thoughts concerning large-scale warfare, and the importance of mass and strength in numbers during military operations, are thoughts and ideas which are examined.

The aim is to explore how these ideational focuses became important. In addition, it is to examine if we can refine our understanding of how military thought is conditioned by the military and scholarly intertwinements, through more nuanced pictures of the interaction between militaries and scholars.

Responsible Department

Department of War Studies

Partners

Funding

The Swedish Defence University

Ongoing

2020-2024

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Published 2023-05-30 Updated 2023-08-30