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The Sociology of War and Violence - Sinisa Malesevic

The Sociology of War and Violence


Published: 10th June 2010
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War is a highly complex and dynamic form of social conflict. This new book demonstrates the importance of using sociological tools to understand the changing character of war and organised violence. The author offers an original analysis of the historical and contemporary impact that coercion and warfare have on the transformation of social life, and vice versa. Although war and violence were decisive components in the formation of modernity most analyses tend to shy away from the sociological study of the gory origins of contemporary social life. In contrast, this book brings the study of organised violence to the fore by providing a wide-ranging sociological analysis that links classical and contemporary theories with specific historical and geographical contexts. Topics covered include violence before modernity, warfare in the modern age, nationalism and war, war propaganda, battlefield solidarity, war and social stratification, gender and organised violence, and the new wars debate.

'With its combination of theoretical acumen and historical insights, this book is a significant step forward in the reintegration of war into the sociological canon. Both students and experienced scholars will appreciate Malesevic's perspectives on how war made us who we are.' Miguel A. Centeno, Princeton University
'This is a major contribution, at once a survey of key intellectual fields (sociological theory, the history of war understood in comparative terms and an analysis of the key social variables involved) and a major piece of innovation, based on a powerful appreciation of ideological and bureaucratic development. There is no better book on the subject.' John A. Hall, McGill University
'An incisive examination of the theoretical literature on warfare and violence. Lucid and wide-ranging, this will be an invaluable guide to scholars and students.' John Hutchinson, London School of Economics and Political Science
'Malesevic ranges with authority and intelligence over the major debates concerning war in human societies past and present, arguing powerfully and provocatively for a theory centred on social organization and ideology. This is easily the best general account of the sociology of war.' Michael Mann, University of California, Los Angeles
'The Sociology of War and Violence is at once powerful social theory and excellent comparative-historical sociology. Malesevic's central claim is that sociological theories - particularly those based on ideological organization and the bureaucratization of coercion - offer a useful understanding of war, modernity and social change ... an extremely important and original book.' Canadian Journal of Sociology
'Sinisa Malesevic's comprehensive work combines an impressive collection of theoretical insights with a sweeping review of violence, warfare, and coercion throughout the ages.' Erica Chenoweth, International Relations

Acknowledgmentsp. x
Introduction: war, violence and the socialp. 1
The cumulative bureaucratisation of coercionp. 5
Centrifugal idcologisationp. 8
The plan of the bookp. 11
Collective violence and sociological theory
War and violence in classical social thoughtp. 17
Introductionp. 17
The 'holy trinity' and organised violencep. 18
The bellicose tradition in classical social thoughtp. 28
The contemporary relevance of bellicose thoughtp. 45
The contemporary sociology of organised violencep. 50
Introductionp. 50
The sources of violence and warfare: biology, reason or culture?p. 51
Organisational materialism: war, violence and the statep. 70
From coercion to ideologyp. 79
Conclusionp. 84
War in time and space
War and violence before modernityp. 89
Introductionp. 89
Collective violence before warfarep. 90
War and violence in antiquityp. 92
War and violence in the medieval erap. 102
The institutional seeds of early modernity: war, violence and the birth of disciplinep. 109
Conclusionp. 116
Organised violence and modernityp. 118
Introductionp. 118
Modernity and violence: an ontological dissonance?p. 119
The cumulative bureaucratisation of coercionp. 120
The centrifugal ideologisation of coercionp. 130
War and violence between ideology and social organisationp. 141
Conclusionp. 145
The social geographies of warfarep. 146
Introductionp. 146
The old worldp. 147
The new worldp. 165
Conclusionp. 174
Warfare: ideas and practices
Nationalism and warp. 179
Introductionp. 179
Warfare and group homogeneityp. 180
The structural origins of national 'solidarity'p. 191
Conclusionp. 200
War propaganda and solidarityp. 202
Introductionp. 202
War propagandap. 203
Killing, dying and micro-level solidarityp. 219
Conclusionp. 232
War, violence and social divisions
Social stratification, warfare and violencep. 237
Introductionp. 237
Stratification without collective violence?p. 238
Stratification through war and violencep. 242
Warfare and the origins of social stratificationp. 252
Justifying social hierarchiesp. 264
Conclusionp. 273
Gendering of warp. 275
Introductionp. 275
The innate masculinity of combat?p. 276
Cultural givens?p. 284
The patriarchal legacy?p. 288
Gender, social organisation and ideologyp. 295
Conclusionp. 307
Organised violence in the twenty-first century
New wars?p. 311
Introductionp. 311
The new-wars paradigmp. 312
The sociology of new warfarep. 315
Warfare between the nation-state and globalisationp. 319
The objectives of contemporary warsp. 324
What is old and what is new?p. 329
Conclusionp. 332
Referencesp. 336
Indexp. 359
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521731690
ISBN-10: 0521731690
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 374
Published: 10th June 2010
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.7 x 17.4  x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.61