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Does the West still need warriors?

Henriksen, Rune (2009) Does the West still need warriors? PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Situated within strategic aspects of International Relations, this thesis asks whether the West still needs warriors. The West has always had and needed warriors, and six warrior ideal types are analysed. Three of these are premodern and three are modern. Warriors are defined as soldiers with a personal and existential commitment to master and experience warfare, who are willing and able to kill and sacrifice their life in combat. It is argued warriors are principally individual types, and whereas there are many soldiers, few of these are warriors. The thesis presents a social theory of who and what the West is, analysing how this is translated into security paradigms that conceive for example whether security ought to be pursued for only the West, or whether it ought to be pursued for all of mankind. A further context issue is the relationship between war and combat. The character of war is changing and becoming ever more instrumental. Combat, meanwhile, is existential and unchanging, consisting of the same basic features and social structure it did in Homeric times. To ask whether the West needs warriors is thus to ask both an instrumental and an existential question. The existential features have to do with whom the West conceives themselves as; the instrumental features about what the West needs. Warriors are both a type of human being embodying qualities like manliness and courage, and instruments towards the attainment of security for Western states. To an extent, social developments have eroded the esteem in which warriors are held, because society is sceptical of the deliberate use of force. Yet at the same time, the security agendas conceived by the West are more expansive than ever, which leads to a greater need for warriors.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, International Relations
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > International Relations

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