The End of Warfare? A Sociological Analysis of Recent Approaches to War Studies


Malešević S.

Full Prof., Chair of Sociology, University College, Dublin, Ireland sinisa.malesevic@ucd.ie

DOI: 10.31857/S013216250016091-3
ID of the Article:


For citation:

Malešević S. The End of Warfare? A Sociological Analysis of Recent Approaches to War Studies. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2021. No 9. P. 80-93




Abstract

The recent scholarship on warfare has been highly polarised around the question: Is organised violence on the rise or in decline? In this paper I critically examine the two dominant approaches – the new war thesis, and the decline of violence perspective – which offer contrasting answers to this question. The paper challenges both of these perspectives and develops an alternative, longue durée sociological approach, that focuses on the macro-organisational social context and explores the dynamics of the war-state-society nexus over the past centuries. I argue that warfare is not becoming obsolete and that ‘new wars’ are unlikely to completely replace inter-state warfare. Instead, my analysis indicates that there is more organisational continuity in the contemporary warfare that either of the two dominant perspectives is willing to acknowledge.


Keywords
military sociology; sociology of war; historical sociology; organised violence; war
Content No 9, 2021