The posthuman way of war

Article


Cudworth, E. and Hobden, S. 2015. The posthuman way of war. Security Dialogue. 46 (6), pp. 513-529.
AuthorsCudworth, E. and Hobden, S.
Abstract

Recent interventions from a ‘posthumanist’ or ‘new materialist’ perspective have highlighted the embedded character of human systems within a ‘panarchy’ of human and non-human systems. This article brings attention to a very particular element of materiality, one with a profound significance for issues of security – relations between human and non-human animals in instances of conflict. It is an indication of the deeply human-centred character of both international relations and security studies that almost none of the central texts mention the very significant roles that non-human animals have in the conduct of war. We argue that the character of war would have been radically different but for the forced participation by an enormous range of non-human animals. Even though, with the improvements in transportation over the last century, non-human animals are less evident in the context of the movement of people and equipment, they still play a significant number of roles in the contemporary war-machines of wealthy countries. Drawing on literature from critical animal studies, sociology and memoirs, this article discusses the enormous variety of roles that non-human animals have played in the conduct of war, and examines the character of human–non-human animal relations in times of war.

JournalSecurity Dialogue
Journal citation46 (6), pp. 513-529
ISSN0967-0106
Year2015
PublisherSAGE
Accepted author manuscript
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1177/0967010615596499
Publication dates
Print05 Oct 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited22 Oct 2015
Accepted05 Oct 2015
Copyright informationCudworth, Erika and Hobden, Steve (2015) ‘The posthuman way of war’, Security Dialogue, 46(6), pp. 513-529. © The authors. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.
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