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Nationalism and War$
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John Hutchinson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198798453

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198798453.001.0001

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Contemporary Warfare and the End of Heroic Nationalism?

Contemporary Warfare and the End of Heroic Nationalism?

(p.125) 4 Contemporary Warfare and the End of Heroic Nationalism?
Nationalism and War

John Hutchinson

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates if we have moved into a postnational period in which the institution of interstate war, one of the primary mechanisms of nation-state formation and reproduction, has become outmoded and in which global norms are superseding national ones. It explores the significance of the decline of mass-conscription armies in favour of professional specialists, of wars of choice dedicated to humanitarian missions, the phenomenon of ‘new’ or intrastate wars, and the growing emphasis on the victims and traumas of war. It examines the challenges posed by global religious movements. It argues, however, that many contemporary conflicts are a product of imperial legacies of weak states lacking legitimacy, and that coalitions of nation states remain central to defending conceptions of world order. Moreover, while heroic ideas of war may seem outmoded, the perception of war as traumatic may itself contribute to national solidarities.

Keywords:   professional specialist, war of choice, new war, trauma of war, humanitarian mission

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