The posthuman way of war

Date

2015-10-05

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

0967-0106

Volume Title

Publisher

Sage

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

Recent interventions from a ‘posthumanist’ or ‘new materialist’ perspective have highlighted the embedded character of human systems within a ‘panarchy’ of human and non-human systems. This article brings attention to a very particular element of materiality, one with a profound significance for issues of security – relations between human and non-human animals in instances of conflict. It is an indication of the deeply human-centred character of both international relations and security studies that almost none of the central texts mention the very significant roles that non-human animals have in the conduct of war. We argue that the character of war would have been radically different but for the forced participation by an enormous range of non-human animals. Even though, with the improvements in transportation over the last century, non-human animals are less evident in the context of the movement of people and equipment, they still play a significant number of roles in the contemporary war-machines of wealthy countries. Drawing on literature from critical animal studies, sociology and memoirs, this article discusses the enormous variety of roles that non-human animals have played in the conduct of war, and examines the character of human–non-human animal relations in times of war.

Description

The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.

Keywords

Anthropocentrism, critical animal studies, inter-species relations, posthumanism, war

Citation

Cudworth, E. and Hobden, S. 2015. The posthuman way of war. Security Dialogue, 46 (6), pp. 513-529.

Rights

Research Institute

Institute for Research in Criminology, Community, Education and Social Justice