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War, Technology, Anthropology

Edited by Koen Stroeken

158 pages, Pocket Size 4.25

ISBN  978-0-85745-587-1 $12.99/£9.00 Pb Published (December 2011)

eISBN 978-0-85745-588-8 eBook

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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.

Series: Volume 13, Critical Interventions: A Forum for Social Analysis
Subject: Peace & Conflict Studies Theory & Methodology in Anthropology

LC: GN497 .W286 2012

BL: YK.2012.a.23846

BISAC: SOC002010 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Anthropology/Cultural; POL036000 POLITICAL SCIENCE/Political Freedom & Security/Intelligence

BIC: JHM Anthropology; GTJ Peace studies & conflict resolution


Introduction: War Technology Anthropology
Koen Stroeken

Part I: Perpetuating War

Chapter 1. Drones in the Tribal Zone: Virtual War and Losing Hearts and Minds in the Af-Pak War
Jeffrey A. Sluka

Chapter 2. The Dead of Night: Chaos and Spectacide of Nocturnal Combat in the Iraq War
Antonius C.G.M. Robben

Chapter 3. World in a Bottle: Prognosticating Insurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan
Roberto J. González

Chapter 4. Anthropology As We Know It – A Casualty of War?
R. Brian Ferguson

Part II: Globalizing War

Chapter 5. Games Without Tears, Wars Without Frontiers
Robertson Allen

Chapter 6. Music, Aesthetics, and the Technologies of Online War
Matthew Sumera

Chapter 7. Humanitarian Death and the Magic of Global War in Uganda
Sverker Finnström

Chapter 8. Resident Violence: Miner mwanga magic as a war technology anthropology
Koen Stroeken

Chapter 9. The Magic of Martyrdom and Cultural Imaginaries in Palestine
Neil L. Whitehead and Nasser Abufarha

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