The New Western Way of War: Risk-Transfer War and Its Crisis in Iraq / Edition 1

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In this seminal new work, Martin Shaw, a leading expert on the sociology of war, argues that the new Western way of war is in crisis. He charts the development of a new warfare, after Vietnam, through the Falklands, the Gulf, Kosovo and Afghanistan. He argues that in the Iraq (mis)adventure (of which he provides a detailed analysis) and the War on Terror, the US has consistently flouted the key rules that enabled Western states to fight these earlier wars successfully. The results are not only political failure and a disaster in Iraq, but also a loss of credibility for the very idea of Western warfare.

For Shaw, the new way of war focuses on containing risks to the lives of Western soldiers in order to minimise political and electoral risk to governments. Risk is transferred to innocent civilians, whose killing is explained away as 'accidental'. Yet the idea of managing risk is fundamentally at odds with the brutal, unpredictable nature of war. Ultimately, attempts to manage, govern and rule over the risks of war produce greater risks for those in power.

The New Western Way of War is a moral and political statement as well as a major contribution to sociology and international relations. It will make compelling reading not only for students and scholars of these disciplines, but for anyone concerned about Western political and military power, and the future for global justice.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A compelling piece of engaged social science (that) doesmuch to clarify what is at stake in contemporarywarfare.”
International Affairs

The New Western Way of War is about new ways ofinterpreting war. By engaging innovative concepts like“global surveillance” or “risk-transfer”,Martin Shaw offers us an intriguing glimpse of a world beyondwar.”
Mary Kaldor, London School of Economics and PoliticalScience

“Roll over Clausewitz: in the global war on terror,politics has become a continuation of war by other means, includingglobal surveillance, disinformation, unlawful detention, abrogationof civil liberties, faith-based violence, pervasive fear,accidental killing, and the transfer of risk to an increasinglyvulnerable citizenry. Martin Shaw targets this new western way ofwar with the kind of discriminate intelligence and discrete passionthat makes all the smart bombs and latter-day Slim Pickens ridingthem look very dumb indeed.”
James Der Derian, Brown University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745634104
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/28/2005
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 164
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin Shaw, Professor of International Relations and Politics at the University of Sussex

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Table of Contents

  • List of Tables
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1. The New Western Way of War from Vietnam toIraq
  • Chapter 2. Theories of the New Western Way of War
  • A Western way of war
  • Chapter 3. The Global Surveillance Mode of Warfare
  • Chapter 4. Rules of Risk-Transfer War
  • Chapter 5. Iraq: Risk Economy of a War
  • Chapter 6. A Way of War in Crisis
  • Postscript
  • Notes
  • References and Bibliography
  • Index
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