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The Politics of ‘Proximity’ and Performing Humanitarianism in Eastern DRC
Myfanwy James

). Yet, not everyone can perform this humanitarian identity with the same ease. For some local staff, their situation in society and their military, political and personal histories often made it difficult for them to be viewed as mere representatives of MSF. Employees with military histories described the difficulty of presenting themselves as impartial to the conflict: for instance, individuals with experience in Rwandan-backed rebellions endeavoured to keep their background a secret from ‘self-defence’ Mai-Mai who mobilised against these rebellions. Others described

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

By expanding the geographical scope of the history of violence and war, this volume challenges both Western and state-centric narratives of the decline of violence and its relationship to modernity. It highlights instead similarities across early modernity in terms of representations, legitimations, applications of, and motivations for violence. It seeks to integrate methodologies of the study of violence into the history of war, thereby extending the historical significance of both fields of research. Thirteen case studies outline the myriad ways in which large-scale violence was understood and used by states and non-state actors throughout the early modern period across Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Atlantic, and Europe, demonstrating that it was far more complex than would be suggested by simple narratives of conquest and resistance. Moreover, key features of imperial violence apply equally to large-scale violence within societies. As the authors argue, violence was a continuum, ranging from small-scale, local actions to full-blown war. The latter was privileged legally and increasingly associated with states during early modernity, but its legitimacy was frequently contested and many of its violent forms, such as raiding and destruction of buildings and crops, could be found in activities not officially classed as war.

Open Access (free)
Svante Norrhem and Erik Thomson

corruption of tax and revenue administrations.3 Much less attention has been paid to the manner in which resources were shared among sovereignties, and the manner in which diplomacy rested upon allies promising to share money and grant access to resources as a prominent part of diplomacy, military provisioning, and the construction of early modern states. Subsidies were ubiquitous features of diplomatic and military history throughout the early modern period, although such payments could assume a wide variety of names and forms. The early modern era also saw numerous

in Subsidies, diplomacy, and state formation in Europe, 1494–1789
Author: Jacopo Pili

Anglophobia in Fascist Italy traces the roots of Fascist Anglophobia from the Great War and through the subsequent peace treaties and its development during the twenty years of Mussolini’s regime. Initially, Britain was seen by many Italians as a ‘false friend’ who was also the main obstacle to Italy’s foreign policy aspirations, a view embraced by Mussolini and his movement. While at times dormant, this Anglophobic sentiment did not disappear in the years that followed, and was later rekindled during the Ethiopian War. The peculiarly Fascist contribution to the assessment of Britain was ideological. From the mid-1920s, the regime’s intellectuals saw Fascism as the answer to a crisis in the Western world and as irredeemably opposed to Western civilisation of the sort exemplified by Britain. Britain was described as having failed the ‘problem of labour’, and Fascism framed as a salvation ideology, which nations would either embrace or face decay. The perception of Britain as a decaying and feeble nation increased after the Great Depression. The consequence of this was a consistent underrating of British power and resolve to resist Italian ambitions. An analysis of popular reception of the Fascist discourse shows that the tendency to underrate Britain had permeated large sectors of the Italian people, and that public opinion was more hostile to Britain than previously thought. Indeed, in some quarters hatred towards the British lasted until the end of the Second World War, in both occupied and liberated Italy.

Open Access (free)
Reading Close Combat
Barry Atkins

historical indecision, where things might have gone one way or another, allow for the interpolation of the self who moves the mouse and adjusts the variables, a move that seems to restore the importance of individual agency that is so often swamped in the military histories that rely on the representation of an extended narrative sweep, presenting military forces as dehumanised machines. More recent American-led conflicts, particularly the Gulf War that had so exercised Baudrillard, would have made a poor game at a strategic level because of their dependence on a doctrine

in More than a game
Open Access (free)
Ben Dew

’s History of Great Britain (1771–93) was divided into seven parallel narratives, each of which engaged with a different theme. The effect of such a move was to ensure that ‘civil and military history’ (theme 1) was separated from the ‘history of commerce, of shipping, of money or coin, and of the prices of commodities’ (theme 6).10 This period also saw the publication of a series of historical accounts concerned exclusively with economic concerns. Sinclair’s History of the Public Revenue was an important example of this sort of writing.11 Another key text was Adam

in Commerce, finance and statecraft
Open Access (free)
Violence and the early modern world
Erica Charters, Marie Houllemare, and Peter H. Wilson

human existence and its motives, acts, and effects all have social, economic, cultural, religious, moral, and military dimensions. Using social and cultural historical approaches, scholars have analysed the nature and frequency of violence in history, considering crimes such as homicides as well as their punishments, or examining the cultural context of practices such as duelling.1 These histories of interpersonal violence generally exist alongside – rather than as part of – the plethora of military histories. A key aim of this volume is to integrate methodologies of

in A global history of early modern violence
Organic economies, logistics, and violence in the pre-industrial world
Wayne E. Lee

maintenance, however, is less well studied than the immediate means of achieving that victory. In part, this is because military history has traditionally focused on the narratives and variables of campaigns and battles, while political history tends to focus on long-term state formation through the lens of institutional development. As a result, analyses of the key role of force in the complex dynamic of consolidating and maintaining conquest after victory have fallen between the cracks.6 Furthermore, historians in general have focused on these dynamics within and among

in A global history of early modern violence
The expansion and significance of violence in early modern
Richard Reid

This was a key theme in a recent panel discussion to launch the new Journal of African Military History at the African Studies Association, Chicago, November 2017. 53 For a more nuanced discussion of civil wars, for example, as in some ways necessary, cleansing, and even constructive, see D. Armitage, Civil Wars: A History in Ideas (New York, 2017). 54 For example: K. M. Fierke, ‘Emotions in IR: the “Dog that did not Bark”’: www.e-ir. info/2015/02/20/emotions-in-ir-the-dog-that-did-not-bark/ (accessed 10 Mar. 2020); R. Jeffries, Reason and Emotion in

in A global history of early modern violence
Barry Atkins

complex relationship that needed teasing out. Computer wargames such as the Close Combat series display a near-obsession with questions of historical authenticity and realism. In terms of the details of weapons performance, unit deployment, and terrain modelled on period aerial reconnaissance photographs, Close Combat seeks to attain a level of detail that would satisfy the most retentive of military history’s trainspotters. In a phrase discussed further in Chapter 4, the manual for one game in the series declares that it ‘puts the emphasis on real’ within the genre of

in More than a game