This volume explores and develops new social-scientific tools for the analysis and understanding of contemporary military missions in theatre.
Despite the advent of new types of armed conflict, the social-scientific study of militaries in action continues to focus on tools developed in the hey-day of conventional wars. These tools focus on such classic issues as cohesion and leadership, communication and unit dynamics, or discipline and motivation. While these issues continue to be important, most studies focus on organic units (up to and including brigades). By contrast, this volume suggests the utility of concepts related to mission formations - as opposed to 'units' or 'components' - to better capture the (ongoing) processual nature of the amalgamations and combinations that military involvement in conflicts necessitates. The study of these formations by the social sciences - sociology, social psychology, anthropology, political science and organization science - requires the introduction of new analytical tools to the study of militaries in theatre. As such, this volume utilizes new approaches to social life, organizational dynamics and to armed violence to understand the place of the armed forces in contemporary conflicts and the new tasks they are assigned.
This book will be of much interest to students of military studies, sociology, security studies and International Relations in general.
Thomas Vladimir Brønd is an Assistant Professor at the Royal Danish Defence College.
Uzi Ben-Shalom is chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ariel University, Israel.
Eyal Ben-Ari is a Research Fellow at the Kinneret Center for Society, Security and Peace, Israel.
Part I: Introduction and Reflections on the Field
1. Mission Formations and a New Agenda for the Study of Military Units in Action Eyal Ben-Ari, Uzi Ben-Shalom, Thomas Brønd and Carmit Padan
2. New Directions in Military Sociology: Reflections on a Book Project Fifteen Years Later
Part II: New Organizational Forms and Processes
3. Organizational Adaptations in the Hunt for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. A Review of Concepts for Analyzing Their Usefulness
4. Bureaucracies, Networks and Warfare in a Fluid Operating Environment
Jessica Glicken Turnley
5. From Leading Combat Units to Leading Combat Formations: Modularity, Loose Systems, and Temporariness
Part III: Methodologies for the Study of Military Formations
6. Research Approaches for the Study of Combat Formations - A Personal Note
Part IV: Glocalized Mission Formations
7. Institutional Isomorphic Change in South Korea's UNPKO Mission Formation
Insoo Kim and Young-Il Choi
8. 'Democracy... 120 mm at a Time': Mission Formations and Operational Entrapments in Post-9/11 Afghanistan
Thomas Randrup Pedersen
9. Logics battlefield: IT Contracting and Military Reserves in the Dutch Army
Joseph Soeters, Gerold de Gooijer, Paul C. van Fenema and Nuno Oliveira
Part V: Bringing it all Together
10. Integrative Epilogue: What's New About the Mission Formations Approach? Thinking Through the Military-Academic Juncture