A Reader

Book Pages: 424 Illustrations: 26 illustrations Published: December 2019

American Studies, Anthropology, Sociology

Militarization: A Reader offers a range of critical perspectives on the dynamics of militarization as a social, economic, political, cultural, and environmental phenomenon. It portrays militarism as the condition in which military values and frameworks come to dominate state structures and public culture both in foreign relations and in the domestic sphere. Featuring short, readable essays by anthropologists, historians, political scientists, cultural theorists, and media commentators, the Reader probes militarism's ideologies, including those that valorize warriors, armed conflict, and weaponry. Outlining contemporary militarization processes at work around the world, the Reader offers a wide-ranging examination of a phenomenon that touches the lives of billions of people.

In collaboration with Catherine Besteman, Andrew Bickford, Catherine Lutz, Katherine T. McCaffrey, Austin Miller, David H. Price, David Vine


“This wonderfully innovative, distinctive, and timely book has the additional value of taking an anthropological approach to militarism. Its editors have been among the key actors in crafting sharp and valuable critiques of the creeping militarization of their disciplines, particularly as practiced by U.S.-based scholars. This volume offers some of the most cogent explorations of the many-layered workings of militarism.” — Cynthia Enloe, author of Globalization and Militarism

“Militarism's reach extends far beyond the weapons and armed police and soldiers prowling our streets and deployed around the world, as its rhetoric normalizes violence and war. This deeply intersectional collection insists on the vantage point of militarism's victims, historically and today, while exposing those who profit from it. This volume provides an astonishingly comprehensive introduction to the globalized systems threatening not only individuals, but whole nations, peoples, and cultures, all captured by a profoundly militarized United States.” — Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies, author of Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror


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Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Roberto J. González is Professor of Anthropology at San Jose State University and author of Militarizing Culture: Essays on the Warfare State.

Hugh Gusterson is Professor of International Affairs and Anthropology at George Washington University and author of Drone: Remote Control Warfare.

Gustaaf Houtman is editor of Anthropology Today at the Royal Anthropological Institute, London.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Editors' Note  xiii
Acknowledgments  xv
Introduction / Roberto J. González  and Hugh Gusterson  1
Section I. Militarization and Political Economy
Introduction / Catherine Lutz  27
1.1. The U.S. Imperial Triangle and Military Spending / John Bellamy Foster, Hannah Holleman, and Robert W. McChesney  29
1.2. Farewell Address to the Nation, January 17, 1961 / Dwight D. Eisenhower   36
1.3. The Militarization of Sports and the Redefinition of Patriotism / William Astore  38
1.4. Violence, Just in Time: War and Work in Contemporary West Africa / Daniel Hoffman  42
1.5. Women, Economy, War / Carolyn Nordstrom  51
Section II. Military Labor
2.1. Soldiering as Work: The All-Volunteer Force in the United States / Beth Bailey  59
2.2. Sexing the Globe / Sealing Cheng  62
2.3. Military Monks / Michael Jerryson  67
2.4. Child Soldiers after War / Brandon Kohrt and Robert Koenig  71
2.5. Asian Labor in the Wartime Japanese Empire / Paul H. Kratoska  73
2.6. Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry / P. W. Singer  76
Section III. Gender and Militarism
Introduction / Katherine T. McCaffery  83
3.1. Gender in Transition: Common Sense, Women, and War / Kimberly Theidon  85
3.2. The Compassionate Warrior: Wartime Sacrifice / Jean Bethke Elshtain  91
3.3. Creating Citizens, Making Men: The Military and Masculinity in Bolivia / Lesley Gill  95
3.4. One of the Guys: Military Women and the Argentine Army / Máximo Badaró  101
Section IV. The Emotional Life of Militarism
Introduction / Catherine Lutz  109
4.1. Militarization and the Madness of Everyday Life / Nancy Scheper-Hughes  111
4.2. Fear as a Way of Life / Linda Green  118
4.3. Evil, the Self, and Survival / Robert Jay Lifton (Interviewed by Harry Kreisler)  127
4.4. Target Audience: The Emotional Impact of U.S. Governmental Films on Nuclear Testing / Joseph Masco  130
Section V. Rhetorics of Militarism
Introduction / Andrew Bickford  141
5.1. The Militarization of Cherry Blossoms / Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney  143
5.2. The "Old West" in the Middle East: U.S. Military Metaphors in Real and Imagined Indian Country / Stephen W. Silliman  148
5.3. Ideology, Culture, and the Cold War / Naoko Shidusawa  154
5.4. The Military Normal: Feeling at Home with Counterinsurgency in the United States / Catherine Lutz  157
5.5. Nuclear Orientalism / Hugh Gusterson  163
Section VI. Militarization, Place, and Territory
Introduction / Roberto J. González  167
6.1. Making War at Home / Catherine Lutz  168
6.2. Spillover: The U.S. Military's Sociospatial Impact / Mark L. Gillen  175
6.3. Nuclear Landscapes: The Marshall Islands and Its Radioactive Legacy / Barbara Rose Johnston  181
6.4. The War on Terror, Dismantling, and the Construction of Place: An Ethnographic Perspective from Palestine / Julie Peteet  186
6.5. The Border Wall Is a Metaphor / Jason de León (Interviewed by Micheline Aharonian Marcom)  192
Section VII. Militarized Humanitarianism
Introduction / Catherine Besteman  197
7.1. Laboratory of Intervention: The Humanitarian Governance of the Postcommunist Balkan Territories / Mariella Pandolfi  199
7.2. Armed for Humanity / Michael Barnett  203
7.3. The Passions of Protection: Sovereign Authority and Humanitarian War / Anne Orford  208
7.4. Responsibility to Protect or Right to Punish? / Mahmood Mamdani  212
7.5. Utopias of Power: From Human Security to the Presponsibility to Protect / Chowra Makaremi  218
Section VIII. Militarism and the Media
Introduction / Hugh Gusterson  223
8.1. Pentagon Pundits / David Barstow (Interview by Amy Goodman)  224
8.2. Operation Hollywood / David L. Robb (Interviewed by Jeff Fleischer)  230
8.3. Discipline and Publish / Mark Pedelty  234
8.4. The Enola Gay on Display / John Whittier Treat  239
8.5. War Porn: Hollywood and War, from World War II to American Sniper / Peter van Buren  243
Section IX. Militarizing Knowledge
Introduction / David H. Price  249
9.1. Boundary Displacement: The State, the Foundations, and International and Area Studies during and after the Cold War / Bruce Cumings  251
9.2. The Career of Cold War Psychology / Ellen Herman  254
9.3. Scientific Colonialism / Johan Galtung  259
9.4. Research ni Foreign Areas / Ralph L. Beals  265
9.5. Rethinking the Promise of Critical Education / Henry A. Giroux (Interviewed by Chronis Polychroniou)  270
Section X. Militarization and the Body
Introduction / Roberto J. González  275
10.1. Nuclear War, the Gulf War, and the Disappearing Body / Hugh Gusterson  276
10.2. The Structure of War: The Juxtaposition of Injuried Bodies and Unanchored Issues / Elaine Scarry  283
10.3. The Enhanced Warfighter / Kenneth Ford and Clark Glymour  291
10.4. Suffering Child: An Embodiment of War and Its Aftermath in Post-Sandinista Nicaragua / James Quesada  296
Section XI. Militarism and Technology
Introduction / Hugh Gusterson  303
11.1. Giving Up the Gun: Japan's Reversion to the Sword, 1543–1879 / Noel Perrin  305
11.2. Life Underground: Building the American Bunker Society / Joseph Masco  307
11.3. Militarizing Space / David H. Price  316
11.4. Embodiment and Affect in a Digital Age: Understanding Mental Illness among Military Drone Personnel / Alex Edney-Browne 319
11.5. Land Mines and Cluster Bombs: "Weapons of Mass Destruction in Slow Motion" / H. Patricia Hynes  324
11.6. Pledge of Non-Participation / Lisbeth Gronlund and David Wright  328
11.7. The Scientists' Call to Ban Autonomous Lethal Robots / International Committee for Robot Arms Control  329
Section XII. Alternatives to Militarization
Introduction / David Vine  333
12.1. War Is Only an Invention—Not a Biological Necessity / Margaret Mead 336
12.2. Reflections on the Possibility of a Nonkilling Society and a Nonkilling Anthropology / Leslie E. Sponsel  339
12.3. U.S. Bases, Empire, and Global Response / Catherine Lutz  344
12.4. Down Here / Julian Aguon  347
12.5. War, Culture, and Counterinsurgency / Roberto J. González, Hugh Gusterson, and David H. Price  349
12.6. Hope in the Dark: Untold Stories, Wild Possibilities / Rebecca Solnit  350
References  355
Contributors  383
Index  389
Credits  403
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0623-7 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0546-9