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How 'new' are 'New Wars?'
Transcript of How 'new' are 'New Wars?'
A THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
No linear increase in civil war parallel to a decline in interstate war for any sustained period, including after the cold war. THE SPATIAL CONTEXT Deliberate targeting of civilians, rape, ethnic cleansing, and other atrocities are not peculiar to wars of the latter part of the 20th century. SOCIAL, MATERIAL and HUMAN IMPACT OF CONFLICT BERDAL – 1). Failure to account for a full range of motives. 2).Failure to take into account historical context. THE POLTICAL AND ECONOMICAL STRUCTURE OF CONFLICT War's now between 'societies' (Munkler) or 'identities' (Kaldor) Kaldor argues that the main protagonists are non-state actors when they used to be state actors, but what about the IRA? Parallel to this state actors still play a dangerous role Globally, e.g. Assad in Syria. KALDOR - ‘identity politics’, but surely every war that has ever been waged has had a huge element of identity in it. Goals of Warfare: Identities vs. Ideologies There are now more wars, and they last longer. War blurs boundaries - Territorially, Socially. Technological advancements HOWEVER a reduction in military causalities is based around a society led shift in tactics, rather than an advance in weaponry that does not place troops at as much risk. Civilian Deaths, Refugees, Child Soldiers, Sexual Violence, Ethnic State-building wars vs. State disintegration Wars (Munkler) ‘New War Economy’ does not explain all the motivations and tactics of all protagonists in these conflicts. E.g. Sri Lanka, India, Nepal. Abuse of resources - Aid money Personal Greed Relief Aid exaggerated. CONCLUSION Total War 2. The primary motives of protagonists (ideology, territory...) 3. Spatial context (interstate wars, civil wars, global...) 4. The technological means of violence (weapons and strategies...) 5. Social, material and human impact of conflict (human victimization...) 6. The political and economical structure of conflict. Patterns of civilian victimization have not changed in a linear fashion from the beginning to the end of the 20th century.
We believe that 'New Wars' are New, but understand that the concept is not without empirical imperfections and academic exaggeration. KALDOR'S MAIN CRITICISMS COOPER “less sweeping, more precise…”
NEWMAN - the distinction between ‘contemporary’ forms of conflict and wars in earlier times is exaggerated and in some instances does not stand up to scrutiny.
NEWMAN - new wars scholarship identify common patterns among all contemporary civil conflicts ignoring the differences among them.
NEWMAN - advances in media and communication.
NEWMAN - New War aspects have been present throughout the last 100 years.