The limits of military sociology

Owens, Patricia (2017) The limits of military sociology. International Affairs, 93 (6). pp. 1453-1470. ISSN 0020-5850

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Many readers of International Affairs will be familiar with Tarak Barkawi’s frequent skewering of IR theories and debates, from his demolition of liberal peace and so-called “schools” of critical security studies to his elevation of empire and critical war studies. In each intervention, Barkawi engaged directly with core IR debates and ruthlessly exposed their flawed premises, establishing a new agenda for research in the process. In doing so, he has shaped at least two generations of IR scholarship. The influence of Soldiers of empire could be of a totally different order. It will come less from the book’s main arguments than the quality of the scholarship and style of intellectual engagement. This book, Soldiers of empire, delivers on something far more urgent than a new agenda for research. It is a yardstick for those in our field interested in producing scholarship that is critical, but also of real substance and originality. That is, work that is historically rich, theoretically engaged, well-written, multi-and inter-disciplinary, and pays no heed whatsoever to the debilitating distinctions between IR subfields. However, as one would expect of a book of real substance, there are problems that will limit its intellectual reach. In this review forum, I focus on two.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Research Centres and Groups: Centre for Advanced International Theory
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Depositing User: Patricia Owens
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2017 11:34
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2017 11:59

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