Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Why War?The Cultural Logic of Iraq, the Gulf War, and Suez$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Philip Smith

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780226763880

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226763910.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

Why War?

Why War?

Theorizing the Role of Culture and Civil Discourse

Chapter:
(p.3) One Why War?
Source:
Why War?
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226763910.003.0001

“Why War?” was the question that launched a celebrated correspondence between Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud. Although those two great thinkers could not agree on a definitive answer, today there does seem to be a broad consensus. Popular beliefs and academic theories alike point overwhelmingly to the machinations and interests of elites and the struggle for power and security within and among nations. If not exactly false in any simple way, such a vision is nevertheless narrow and misleading. This book sketches out an alternative answer to the “Why War?” query—one that illuminates the role of culture and deliberative democracy. In a series of matched case studies it shows that codes defining the sacred and profane in social life and a limited pool of narrative structures within a civil discourse form the cultural bedrock upon which military policy is made legitimate and thinkable.

Keywords:   security, war, power struggle, deliberative democracy, case studies, social life, military policy

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.