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Godišnjak Fakulteta bezbednosti
2019, iss. 1, pp. 13-33
article language: Serbian
document type: unclassified
published on: 01/04/2020
doi: 10.18485/fb_godisnjak.2019.1
Creative Commons License 4.0
Are there any heroes in the age of post-heroic warfare?
Institute of International Politics and Economics, Belgrade

e-mail: srdjan@diplomacy.bg.ac.rs

Project

Serbia in contemporary international relations: Strategic development orientations and consolidation of Serbia’s position in international integration processes – foreign policy, international economic, legal and security aspects (MESTD - 179029)

Abstract

The paper analyses the problems that have been undermining the US recruitment policy for the last two decades - which is aimed at providing soldiers for imperial disciplining wars waged on the planetary periphery - as a case study to test the validity of theoretical assumptions about the transition to the age of post-heroic warfare. The departing hypothesis is based on stance that the United States, being the only remained superpower, experience a gradual and less visible process of losing popular support for military conscription, which the author employs here as an ideal of national vitality and a pillar of modern citizenship, as well as a feature of masculinity and the realm for self-realisation. The analysis takes place primarily in the field of anthropology and sociology and employs theoretical positions of social constructivism to complement narrow theoretical and methodological approaches of political science which are typically applied in the study of international relations. The analysis focuses on the "cracks" and deformations in the construction of ideals of warfare and heroism, which emerge as a result of the interaction of man - both as an individual and a member of the political community - the public, and the US foreign policy decisions designed to meet the needs and requirements of successful disciplinary imperial warfare. The author concludes that theoretical assumptions about entering the age of post-heroic warfare are valid due to the recruitment crisis in the US military, the unpopularity of the military profession, the commodification of warfare and death, the transformation of war into an industrial process, and misleading media portrayals of dead and wounded soldiers.

Keywords

war; soldier; heroism; post-heroic warfare; United States

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