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War in an Age of Risk

  • ID: 2561589
  • Book
  • 188 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Wars throughout history have been fought in the name of ideology, religion and the pursuit of peace. Our thinking about war when it is justified, how it should be fought and how it is perceived has changed dramatically over time. Whereas in the past war has been seen as a battle of wills, this provocative and illuminating new book shows how war has evolved into an exercise in risk management.

In a rare blend of political science, sociology, history and cultural thought, Christopher Coker peels away the layers of meaning shrouding our current understanding of war and warfare. Using the ideas of writers such as Zygmunt Bauman, Ulrich Beck and Frank Furedi, he shows that risk has become the language of business, politics and public policy and so we should not be surprised that it has now become the language of war. The book highlights the increasing difference between homeland security and national security in the modern world, arguing that the defense of the citizen is often now more challenging than the defense of the state. By demonstrating the changing character and complexity of conflict from World War I to the current the current fight against terrorism, the book provides a powerful and highly distinctive account of the re–branding of war in an age of risk.

This book is set to ignite debate amongst students and scholars of international politics as well as appealing to anyone interested in war and its place in contemporary society.
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Preface vii

1 The Risk Society at War 1

2 Complexity and War 28

3 War in an Age of Risk 62

4 Consequence Management 103

5 The Geopolitics of Risk Management 131

6 The Risk Age and its Discontents 173

Bibliography 185

Index 199
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"As we have come to expect from a scholar of his intellectual wit and calibre, Coker delivers a masterful, not to mention thoroughly enjoyable, analysis."

RUSI Journal

"Christopher Coker is in a class by himself. His nimble, even dazzling arguments are buttressed by a rich body of quotations, allusions and references to English, French and German philosophy, cinema and literature, to the natural sciences and pop–sociology, and sometimes even to more esoteric specialties.". Survival

"War in an Age of Risk is an imaginative and penetrating study of the new strategic context by one of Britain's most creative and thoughtful strategic analysts. It is an outstanding work.". Philip C. Bobbitt, University of Texas

"Christopher Coker, perhaps the most incisive philosopher of war of our time, explains how the evolution of Western societies has influenced how those societies perceive and wage war. It is likely that historians, with the benefit of hindsight, will consider War in an Age of Risk an unusually perspicacious and seminal work.". Dr H. R. McMaster, Colonel, US Army

"Drawing on philosophy and sociology as well as military history, Christopher Coker presents a clear vision of what war will be all about in years to come. When historians of the future try to understand how wars of modern mass armies developed into the never–ending conflicts of risk societies they will read War in an Age of Risk. Commanders and policy–makers have the good fortune to be able to read it today.". Mikkel Vedby Rasmussen, Head of the Danish Institute for Military Studies, University of Texas
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