The Disappearance of the Battlefield in the Age of Global Targeting

The Institute of International Relations hosted the seminar „The Disappearance of the Battlefield in the Age of Global Targeting", which took place on April 21, 2017 from 10:30 at the Institute of International Relations, Nerudova 3, Prague 1.

21. 4. 2017 (10:30)

Institute of International Relations, Nerudova 3, Prague 1.

The classical understanding of the battlefield as a distinct physical and normative space within which opposing armies clash appears today to be in a terminal state of crisis. Throughout the twentieth century, the dramatic increase in the range and accuracy of weapon systems drove a rapid expansion of the battlespace, all the while societies were increasingly mobilised to support their nation’s war efforts. The manifestation of total war these processes participated in may well have receded but we are witnessing instead a new age characterised by indeterminate states of conflict in which individualised targeting is pursued on a planetary scale and various groups adopt radical strategies of generalised concealment within the civil societies of their enemies. In measure to the corresponding fragmentation and dispersal of the battlefield, precarious distinctions between military and civilian, domestic and foreign, war and peace are becoming ever more eroded.

Antoine Bousquet is Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Birkbeck College, University of London. His main research interests are concerned with war and political violence, the history and philosophy of science and technology, and social and political theory in the digital age. He is the author of The Scientific Way of Warfare: Order and Chaos on the Battlefields of Modernity (Hurst Publishers & Columbia University Press, 2009), has published various articles in a range of peer-reviewed journals, and has given invited talks to international audiences at universities, military academies, think tanks, and cultural centers.

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