Recent work on war and the military has addressed two broad questions: Why do states and societies wage war as they do? And what difference does it make that war is, or has been, waged in that manner? Building on the Clausewitzian focus on relations among the state, the armed forces, and society, responses to these questions emphasize the need for the analyst to recognize that the state may not possess a monopoly of force, interstate and civil wars may intertwine, and meaning and valence may figure prominently in war and its consequences. Scholarship in this area tends to focus on three broad domains: mobilization into war, treatment of the enemy, and signification. Each has its own distinctive analytics and historical pattern of transformation and development. How these three domains intersect holds real promise for future work.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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