If the practice of war is as old as human history, so too is the need to reflect upon war, to understand its meaning and implications. The Pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus asserted in 600BC that War (polemos) is justice, thus inaugurating a long philosophical tradition of consideration of the morality of war. In recent times, the increased specialisation of academic disciplines has led a to a fragmentation of the thematic of war within the academy - the topic of war is as likely to be addressed by sociologists, cultural theorists, psychologists and even computer scientists as it is by historians, philosophers or political scientists. This diversity of disciplinary approaches to war is undoubtedly fruitful in itself but can lead to an isolation of respective disciplinary analyses of war from each other.
In July 2002, at Mansfield College, Oxford, an inter-disciplinary conference on war (entitled 'War and Virtual War') was held so as to redress some of this disciplinary isolationism and to forge an integrative dialogue on war, in all its facets. The papers in this volume were nominated by delegates as the most paradigmatic of the ethos of the original project and the most successful in achieving its aims of inter-disciplinarity and critical dialogue.
Table of Contents
Part I: Understanding War and Terrorism
Paul GILBERT: Roles and Identities in Old and New Wars
Susan G. SAMPLE: The Impact of Ideational Interests on State Behaviour and the Outcome of Militarised Disputes
Paul REXTON KAN: Globalisation and the Just War Tradition: The Vexing Problem of Legitimate Authority
Bradd C. HAYES and Thomas P.M. BARNETT: System Perturbation: Conflict in the Age of Globalization
Maura CONWAY: Cyberterrorism: Media Myth or Clear and Present Danger?
Part II: War and Morality
Michael L. GROSS: Assassination: Killing in the Shadow of Self-Defence
Asa KASHER: Civil Disobedience and Military Ethics
Part III: Representations of War
Deborah A. GÓMEZ: The Exclusion of American Nurses from the Imagery of Liberation
Martin BAYER: Playing War in Computer Games: Images, Myths and Reality
Christopher MACALLISTER: Contemporary British Cinema and the Re-imagining of World War Two: A Virtual/Humane Sensibility to War and a ‘New’ Grammar of Heroism
Jones IRWIN: The ‘Problem’ (Not the ‘Theorem’) of War: On Pasolini’s Salò
Part IV. Whither Peace?
Edward HORGAN: Peace and Virtual Peace: Challenges to War
Agata DZIEWULSKA: Cross-Track Approach: A Remedy to Post-Conflict Peace Building?
Notes on Contributors