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Open Access (free)
Brad Evans

progress, the more we increase our chances for collective annihilation. Indeed, despite the potential human benefits of technological advancement, the triumph of the technical over the poetic in political affairs undermines the role of human creativity. How many critical theorists still have to affirm the importance of arts and humanities to the promotion of peace? Theory and science are not objective: we produce the technologies we desire, which are over-coded with all manner of assumptions and prejudices. So, as the technological mind continues to produce war machines

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Jonathan Atkin

case, for Plowman the only natural way of living. When it came to his own choice, Plowman felt that, as he had supported the war machine by fighting, his only option was just as obviously to fight against it by ‘getting into prison for peace’. Despite a trial and appeal, Plowman was sent a call-up notice at the start of July 1918 and became tangled in a web of bureaucracy between the two government departments of Registration and Appeals. He was in danger of being sent to prison as a deserter and not as a conscientious objector, which moved Plowman to comment on the

in A war of individuals
Open Access (free)
Simon Mabon

insurmountable structures. Contestation was met with a fierce response from the 183 The regime fights back 183 governance structures of the state as regimes attempted to regain control over the situation, using a range of draconian strategies. The rejection of ‘being thus’, in turn, created a situation wherein both regime and peoples sought to define the ordering of political life and, as a consequence, the very limits of political space. This process of contestation resulted in the emergence of war machines and a struggle to exert control over them. Regime responses to

in Houses built on sand
Simon Mabon

become disputed. As Mbembe suggests, space is ‘the raw material of sovereignty and the violence it carried with it’.51 16 16 Houses built on sand The fragmentation of sovereignty can result in existential transformation as life is displaced, often stripped of political meaning and reduced to bare life. It is within such conditions that we see the emergence of war machines, entities that challenge the rule-​based form of political organisation. Developed by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, the concept of the war machine sits in opposition to the state, which

in Houses built on sand
Open Access (free)
The end of the dream
Simon Mabon

 sand creation of bare life was a mechanism of sovereign power, designed to ensure order and compliance. Yet in a number of cases, the creation of bare life was an insufficient expression of sovereign power. Instead, we see regimes choosing to exert sovereign power through necropolitics, with war machines emerging as a consequence of widespread fragmentation. In such conditions, localised manifestations of the global nomos, defined by a spatialised exception and underpinned by conditions of modernity have become increasingly contested by the contingency of daily life. Amid

in Houses built on sand

By expanding the geographical scope of the history of violence and war, this volume challenges both Western and state-centric narratives of the decline of violence and its relationship to modernity. It highlights instead similarities across early modernity in terms of representations, legitimations, applications of, and motivations for violence. It seeks to integrate methodologies of the study of violence into the history of war, thereby extending the historical significance of both fields of research. Thirteen case studies outline the myriad ways in which large-scale violence was understood and used by states and non-state actors throughout the early modern period across Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Atlantic, and Europe, demonstrating that it was far more complex than would be suggested by simple narratives of conquest and resistance. Moreover, key features of imperial violence apply equally to large-scale violence within societies. As the authors argue, violence was a continuum, ranging from small-scale, local actions to full-blown war. The latter was privileged legally and increasingly associated with states during early modernity, but its legitimacy was frequently contested and many of its violent forms, such as raiding and destruction of buildings and crops, could be found in activities not officially classed as war.


Anglophobia in Fascist Italy traces the roots of Fascist Anglophobia from the Great War and through the subsequent peace treaties and its development during the twenty years of Mussolini’s regime. Initially, Britain was seen by many Italians as a ‘false friend’ who was also the main obstacle to Italy’s foreign policy aspirations, a view embraced by Mussolini and his movement. While at times dormant, this Anglophobic sentiment did not disappear in the years that followed, and was later rekindled during the Ethiopian War. The peculiarly Fascist contribution to the assessment of Britain was ideological. From the mid-1920s, the regime’s intellectuals saw Fascism as the answer to a crisis in the Western world and as irredeemably opposed to Western civilisation of the sort exemplified by Britain. Britain was described as having failed the ‘problem of labour’, and Fascism framed as a salvation ideology, which nations would either embrace or face decay. The perception of Britain as a decaying and feeble nation increased after the Great Depression. The consequence of this was a consistent underrating of British power and resolve to resist Italian ambitions. An analysis of popular reception of the Fascist discourse shows that the tendency to underrate Britain had permeated large sectors of the Italian people, and that public opinion was more hostile to Britain than previously thought. Indeed, in some quarters hatred towards the British lasted until the end of the Second World War, in both occupied and liberated Italy.

Open Access (free)
Sara Haslam

in some horrific way thus more psychologically healthy? It is just this kind of hypothesis with which Daniel Pick has taken issue. He says in his introduction to War Machine that ‘the writers I discuss are men, and often men for whom war evidently raises troubling questions of sexuality and gender, even though, at the same time, war is frequently said to resolve them’.78 He asks critics to be wary of attributing a healing, relieving, power to war. In some respects this healing does occur, and does so in Ford’s wartime character of Christopher Tietjens. As explored

in Fragmenting modernism
The changing scale of warfare and the making of early colonial South Asia
Manu Sehgal

extracted from the agrarian produce of eastern India and the Company’s desperate search for a stable, predictable source 74 Part I: Coherence and fragmentation to fund its increasingly expensive military campaigns, has not been studied.12 In short, the colonial regime by the 1790s had become an expensive, expanding, and ­insatiable war machine, and the primary concern of both the Company and its ­critics was how to sustain it. It will be argued here that earlier attempts to explain and sustain colonial warfare were replaced by new arguments prioritizing resources for

in A global history of early modern violence
Yemen as a theatre for the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia
Maria-Louise Clausen

/iiy185 . 58 United Nations Security Council (2020). Final report of the Panel of Experts on Yemen, 27 January 2020 (S/2020/70). 59 M. Knights, ‘The Houthi War Machine: From Guerrilla War to State Capture’, CTC Sentinel , 11:8 (2018), 15–23, (accessed 5 April 2022). 60 Y. Veilleux-Lepage, ‘Implications of the Sunk Cost Effect and Regional Proximity for Public

in Saudi Arabia and Iran