Transformations of Warfare in the Contemporary World
Temple University Press
Transformations of Warfare in the Contemporary World
Psychoanalytic Psychology

Edited by John Torpey and David Jacobson

Paperback: 192 pages

Publisher: Temple Universeity Press (June 16, 2016)

Language: English

Paper: $28.95
ISBN: 978-1-4399-1313-0
e-Book: $28.95
ISBN: 978-1-4399-1314-7

For information on ordering,
please click here.

Temple University Press is one of Library of Social Science’s special clients that exhibits at each of our 2016 conferences through our Promotional Package. They’ve recently published an exciting book, Transformation of Warfare in the Contemporary World, that will be of special interest to readers of the LSS Newsletter.

To see a photo of Temple University Press titles on display at a recent LSS book exhibit, please scroll down.

Authors Torpey and Jacobson observe (in the first chapter that you can read at no charge here) that there has been a radical change in our conception of warfare. World War I took place at the “high tide of European nationalism.” The association between citizen and state was embodied in the “willingness of nationals to die for their country.”

In the 21st Century, however, “the world’s affluent countries have become increasingly unwilling to involve their own armies in combat” (Richard Koenigsberg has written about the American policy of “casualty aversion” and the evolution of a “counter-sacrificial culture”).

We urge you to read the free Chapter, and to purchase the book for yourself and/or your college library. Click the link to the above for ordering information.

Book Description

Today's warfare has moved away from being an event between massed national populations and toward small numbers of combatants using high-tech weaponry. The editors of and contributors to the timely collection Transformations of Warfare in the Contemporary World show that this shift reflects changes in the technological, strategic, ideological, and ethical realms.

The essays in this volume discuss

  • The waning connection between citizenship and soldiering;
  • The shift toward more reconstructive than destructive activities by militaries;
  • The ethics of irregular or asymmetrical warfare;
  • The role of novel techniques of identification in military settings;
  • The stress on precision associated with targeted killings and kidnappings;
  • The uses of the social sciences in contemporary warfare.

In his concluding remarks, David Jacobson explores the extent to which the contemporary transformation of warfare is a product of a shift in the character of the combatants themselves.

Contributors include: Ariel Colonomos, Roberto J. González, Travis R. Hall, Saskia Hooiveld, Rob Johnson, Colonel C. Anthony Pfaff, Ian Roxborough, and the editors



"Transformations of Warfare in the Contemporary World provides a fresh account of some of the recent developments in warfare. The editors and contributors help elucidate some of the trends and changes in modern warfare; this puts the new developments into a social, political, and cultural context. The book's strength lies in the fact that the contributors engage with the developments in modern warfare yet have that reflexive capacity to see some of the problematic sides. This collection fills a real gap in the literature."
   —Andreas Hess, Senior Lecturer of Sociology at University College Dublin and author of The Political Theory of Judith N. Shklar: Exile from Exile

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments


  1. Warfare without Warriors? Changes in Contemporary Warfare and the Demise of the Citizen-Soldier • John Torpey and Saskia Hooiveld
  2. The Changing Character and Enduring Nature of War: The Collision of State and Substate Polities • Rob Johnson
  3. Plus Ça Change: War and State Building • Ian Roxborough
  4. A Crisis of Norms: Fighting Irregular Wars Well • Colonel C. Anthony Pfaff
  5. Searching for Red and Blue in the Fog of Gray: The Development and Deployment of U.S. Military Biometrics in Iraq and Afghanistan • Travis R. Hall
  6. Precision Warfare and the Case for Symmetry: Targeted Killings and Hostage Taking • Ariel Colonomos
  7. Militarizing Ethnography: The Pentagon's Use and Abuse of Culture • Roberto J. González

Conclusion: Postnational Warfare • David Jacobson


Temple University Press titles on display at a recent
Library of Social Science Book Exhibit
Psychoanalytic Psychology