Humane Warfare

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The decision to fight 'humanitarian wars' -- such as Kosovo -- and the development of technology to make war more humane, illustrates the trend in the West to try to humanise war, and thereby humanise modernity. This highly controversial and cutting-edge book asks whether the attempt to make war 'virtual' or 'virtuous' can succeed and whether the West is deluding itself (not its enemies) in thinking that war can ever be made more humane.

Christopher Coker's radical conclusion is that western humanitarian warfare is in fact an endgame as other non-western societies will make sure it does not succeed. Eminently readable, this book combines theory with accounts by politicians and serving military personnel, alongside illuminating literary insights. It will be vital reading for all those interested in intermational relations and strategic studies and defence issues, including journalists, students and politicians.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415255752
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 10/28/2001
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Humanising war 7
Surfing the Zeitgeist 7
Irony and war 11
Humanising modernity 15
Humanising war 17
2 War and the renunciation of cruelty 24
The American Century and the will to power 25
Vietnam: the end of America's will to power 30
Into the slaughterhouse 36
Judith Shklar and cruelty 40
3 The redundancy of courage 44
Machiavelli and the virtuous state 44
Hegel and war as a vocation 46
Nietzsche and the masses as a military caste 47
The end of the virtuous state 50
The risk society 51
Risk-aversive war 56
Stress-free war 61
4 War without hatred 67
Why no enemies? 69
Post-materialist war 78
Uncivil society 81
The feminisation of society 83
Non-lethal warfare 88
5 The humane warrior 91
Counter-culture 92
Post-military society 93
Post-traditional military 96
The feminisation of the military 103
6 Zoning the planet 111
Keeping the peace 112
An insecure world 115
The humanitarian military ethos 117
Humanitarian imperialism 125
Humanitarian war and the loss of metaphysics 126
7 Humane war and the moral imagination 131
Lin Yutang and humanised thinking 131
Richard Rorty and the end of metaphysics 133
History as a metaphysical principle 134
War and sacrifice in an ironic world 142
8 Conclusion 146
Humanism and war 146
Humanity and war 147
Humanitarian wars 148
Notes 152
Index 165
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