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Critical Interventions: A Forum for Social Analysis
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War, Technology, Anthropology
Edited by Koen Stroeken
158 pages, Pocket Size 4.25in x 7in
ISBN 978-0-85745-587-1 $14.95/£11.95 / Pb / Published (December 2011)
eISBN 978-0-85745-588-8 eBook
Technologies of the allied warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan, such as remote-controlled drones and night vision goggles, allow the user to “virtualize” human targets. This coincides with increased civilian casualties and a perpetuation of the very insecurity these technologies are meant to combat. This concise volume of research and reflections from different regions across Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa, observes how anthropology operates as a technology of war. It tackles recent theories of humans in society colluding with imperialist claims, including anthropologists who have become involved professionally in warfare through their knowledge of “cultures,” renamed as “human terrain systems.” The chapters link varied yet crucial domains of inquiry: from battlefields technologies, military-driven scientific policy, and economic warfare, to martyrdom cosmology shifts, media coverage of “distant” wars, and the virtualizing techniques and “war porn” soundtracks of the gaming industry.
Koen Stroeken is an Associate Professor of Africanist Anthropology at Ghent University. Committed to the value of reflexivity, he published most recently Moral Power: The Magic of Witchcraft (Berghahn Books, 2010), which is based on fieldwork in rural Tanzania.
Subject: Peace and Conflict Studies Theory and Methodology
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