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Bill Brydon

The everywhere war - GREGORY - 2011 - The Geographical Journal - 0 views

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    "Much of the discussion of 9/11 has debated its historical significance, but it is equally important to explore the geographical dimensions of the wars that have been conducted in its shadows. Subsequent transformations in the American way of war have played a major role in the increased militarisation of the planet. Most attention has been focused on Afghanistan and Iraq as the principal theatres of the 'war on terror', but one of the characteristics of late modern war is the emergent, 'event-ful' quality of military, paramilitary and terrorist violence that can, in principle, occur anywhere. Vulnerabilities are differentially distributed but widely dispersed, and in consequence late modern war is being changed by the slippery spaces through which it is conducted. This paper explores three global borderlands to bring those changes into focus: Afghanistan-Pakistan (particularly the deployment of CIA-controlled drones in Pakistan), US-Mexico (particularly the expansion of Mexico's 'drug war' and the US militarisation of the border), and cyberspace (particularly the role of stealth attacks on critical infrastructure and the formation of US Cyber Command)."
Bill Brydon

The Empire Writes Back…Back: Postcolonial Studies in an Age of Autogenic War ... - 0 views

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    "This essay attempts to disclose a uniquely volatile nexus that implicates - and perhaps, reinvigorates - a postcolonial analytics of insurgency. This nexus includes three strands of inquiry: the first is the so-called Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA), which really is - albeit in a qualified sense - revolutionary. War is doing new things with time and space through culture, media, and data technology, and in the process is mutating not only what it means to be a part of this or that national group but is also changing what it means to be human. The second strand of inquiry focuses on the legacy of postcolonial studies, particularly the notion of 'writing back' which, I contend, is an apposite starting point for writing critically about the RMA. Apposite though it is, there are limits to postcolonial studies in the contemporary war context. This is so because while the divisions of individual difference are shifting, the coherence of the nation state itself is undergoing radical change. Moving outward in scope to a planetary scale, the human being per se is no longer a primary category by and for which war is happening today. Thus the third strand of inquiry is focused on the residual anthropomorphic tendencies within postcolonial studies that too narrowly limit discussions of violence and collective belonging. The concept of the human being per se remains reliant on early models of technology and media (namely, writing and literature, usually novels). Therefore, in the context of an ever-expanding global war machine, 'writing back' is a concept that requires fine-tuning and revision."
Bill Brydon

THREATPRINTS, THREADS AND TRIGGERS - Journal of Cultural Economy - Volume 5, Issue 1 - 0 views

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    "The international 'data war' that is fought in the name of counter-terror is concerned with mobilising the uncertain future to intervene 'before the terrorist has been radicalised'. Within this project, the digital footprint has become increasingly significant as a security resource. At the international border, particularly, the traces of data that cannot help but be left behind by everyday consumption and travel activity are mobilised within 'smart' targeting programmes to act against threat ahead of time. Subject to analytics, rules-based targeting and risk-scoring, this data is believed to offer a fuller picture of the mobile subject than conventional identification information. This paper places the data footprint alongside the history of the conventional criminal 'print' within forensic science to examine the future-oriented modes of governing that are emerging within smart border programmes such as the UK's e-borders. The digital print has less in common with the criminal print as objective evidence of past events and more in common with early efforts in anthropometry and biometrics to diagnose a subject's proclivity ahead of time. In the context of contemporary border security, this is unleashing uneven and occluded governmental effects."
Bill Brydon

Guns don't kill people, cyborgs do: a Latourian provocation for transformatory arms con... - 0 views

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    "This article seeks to provoke a deeper engagement of Critical Security Studies with security's relations to technology and weapons. It explores existing assumptions about these relations in mainstream arms control and disarmament theory, and the way such assumptions are deployed and distributed in the current settlement of arms control and disarmament practice. It then draws on recent social and philosophical discussions of materiality, particularly on the thought of Bruno Latour, to propose a different set of concepts for exploring the aims and limits of arms control and disarmament. These concepts emphasise the mediating roles of material things in social relations and they may offer a richer view of the object of arms control (weapons and violence) and of the practices of arms limitation and reduction; one that may ultimately gesture towards a different understanding of arms politics, and that may be used to explore the transformatory potentials of arms control and disarmament."
Bill Brydon

Critically Examining UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security - International Feminist J... - 0 views

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    Here, we introduce the articles that comprise this special issue of IFJP, entitled, 'Critically Examining UNSCR 1325'. The aim of this special issue is to examine the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and its implications for women's activism and for peace and security. Given that the articles in this volume approach UNSCR 1325 from various perspectives and in different contexts, our aim in this introduction is to point out a number of conceptual, policy and practical issues that are crucial in the debates around UNSCR 1325 specifically, and women, peace and security more broadly. We do this in four parts: first, problematizing the resolution in relation to changes in global governance; second, examining the Resolution's assumptions about (gendered) agency and structure; third, examining the Resolution's assumptions about the links between conflict and gender; and, fourth, comparing different contexts in which 1325 is implemented. To some degree, differences between contributors may be accounted for by different understandings of feminism(s) as a political project. Different feminisms may underpin different visions of peace and, consequently, different projects of peacebuilding. Ultimately, this volume, while answering the questions that we originally posed, throws up new questions about transnational feminist praxis.
Bill Brydon

UNESCO and the protection of cultural property during armed conflict - International Jo... - 0 views

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    "Since the establishment of UNESCO, the organization has engaged in the protection of cultural property during armed conflict. Recently, however, an increased incidence of intentional cultural property destruction and looting has been observed during such conflicts. This article, therefore, evaluates UNESCO activities relating to the protection of cultural property during armed conflicts. It finds that the ineffectiveness of the measures employed is largely due to a lack of adjustment to the nature of contemporary conflicts and to changes in the profiles and motives of the perpetrators. Further problems, such as the slow operation and implementation procedures of the organization and its lack of pre-emptive actions, are also addressed."
Bill Brydon

Research, Collaboration, and Intelligence: When Governments Take an Interest in Feminis... - 0 views

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    The discipline of anthropology has been wracked with controversy since the 2007 establishment of a new program within the United States military, which officially employs anthropologists and other social scientists to collect "ethnographic intelligence" on local populations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The program, the Human Terrain System (HTS), was created to help U.S. military personnel better understand local cultural contexts. As part of this program, experts throughout the academy are being contacted by State Department officials to provide information on topics of interest to those in the Pentagon. The politicization of ethnographic fieldwork has posed a series of moral dilemmas for anthropologists, particularly feminist anthropologists who work with already vulnerable populations. This article proposes to examine the question of collaboration with reference to the HTS and recent debates raging among anthropologists about whether or not to cooperate with the U.S. government or any foreign government. Drawing on the author's own experiences conducting fieldwork among Slavic Muslims in Bulgaria, during which she was "invited" to share her findings with both the Bulgarian and American governments, the goal of the article is to openly discuss these dilemmas and offer some brief suggestions about how to navigate the murky waters of doing research in an increasingly fraught global context.
Bill Brydon

The tools to combat the war on women's bodies: rape and sexual violence against women i... - 0 views

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    "Without doubt since the 1990s inroads have been made in the development of international law in the sphere of sexual violence and armed conflict. Due to the progress made in international law itself and the tribunals of the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, international law can now be seen to have an array of tools with which to combat and prosecute perpetrators of sexual violence. These tools include humanitarian law, the Genocide Convention, crimes against humanity, customary international law, in particular the rules of jus cogens and the Rome Statute. An analysis will be made in this article of the effectiveness of these tools and how they can be utilised in order to prevent the on-going onslaught on women's bodies. It will be seen that the gradual acknowledgement of rape and sexual violence as an international crime has the potential of empowering women and can give them the ability to use international law as a powerful tool to redress violence perpetrated against them in armed conflict. This article will then examine whether this potential is in fact a reality for women who have suffered sexual abuse in armed conflict or have the developments merely paid lip service to these crimes and not been as progressive as was first hoped."
Bill Brydon

Telenovela writers under the military regime in Brazil: Beyond the cooption and resista... - 0 views

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    This article aims to analyse the strategic choices made by left-wing telenovela writers during the military regime in Brazil, their complex relationships with their employer, Globo Network, and the regime's various forms of censorship. The arrival of many critical cultural producers in the television industry during the authoritarian period in Brazil (1964-85) and the alleged close links between Globo Network and the military regime stirred an intense debate among the Brazilian intelligentsia. The participation of these cultural producers in the small-screen arena during the authoritarian period has been almost invariably considered by their detractors in terms of cooption/domination, or as a form of resistance by their defenders. The recent opening of the Censor Division Archives and the deluge of biographies, autobiographies and testimonials of key television figures during the authoritarian regime, have opened up new perspectives for examining Brazilian television history. Instead of the seemingly almost perfect harmony between the military regime and the television industry, as represented by Brazilian communication giant Globo Network, the present analysis focuses on some of the tensions, subtle struggles and spaces of relative autonomy within the telenovela field during the period of authoritarian rule in Brazil.
Bill Brydon

Articulation, antagonism, and intercalation in Western military imaginaries - 0 views

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    This article provides a discursive grounding for understanding the construction of military imaginaries by adding the concepts of 'antagonism' and 'intercalation' to articulation theory. By examining the cases of industrial-mechanized warfare theory and network-centric warfare theory through the lens of this expanded articulation theory, it is argued that military imaginaries often serve to define and link conceptions of science, technology, society, economy, war, and military organization, thought, and practice into a unified image of the larger security environment - that is, the military imaginary. Military imaginaries often share a common narrative structure that privileges co-periodized change among the elements of the articulation, resulting in the phenomenon of 'antagonism' serving as a generic threat used to justify military modernization and even the use of force.
Bill Brydon

The West, the rest, and the 'war on terror': representation of Muslims in neoconservati... - 0 views

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    This paper uses Sayyid's concept of Eurocentrism to analyse neoconservative media discourse following the September 11 attacks. Using predicate analysis on articles from The Weekly Standard magazine, this study aims to determine how neoconservative writers created a Muslim subjectivity following the attacks in order to make certain courses of action appear necessary and inevitable. Four subject positions emerged from the analysis: passive Muslims, active Muslims, the passive West, and the active West. By containing and controlling the representation of 'Islam' and 'Muslims' through these binaries, neoconservatives endeavoured to stabilise the identities of the players in the 'war on terrorism', and in doing so, advanced a Eurocentric discourse that attempted to re-centre the West as the vehicle of human progress, with America as its natural leader. This paper concludes that basing the 'war on terror' entirely around identities effectively made Eurocentrism (and Islamism) self-reinforcing, as the successful restriction of identities precluded challenges to the neoconservative discourse from any position other than a 'Muslim' subjectivity.
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