This collection explores the concepts and practices of masquerade as they apply to concepts and practices of war.
The contributors insist that masquerades are everyday aspects of the politics, praxis, and experiences of war, while also discovering that finding masquerades and tracing how they work with war is hardly simple. With a range of theories, innovative methodologies, and contextual binoculars, masquerade emerges as a layered and complex phenomenon. It can appear as state deception, lie, or camouflage, as in the population-centric American warfare in Iraq that was sold as good for the local people, or the hidden violence Russian military forces used on each other and on local men in Chechnya. Masquerade can also be part of a people's war logic as exemplified by the Maoist movement in India. Yet masquerade can also be understood as a normal social mask that people don to foreground an identity or belief from one's cluttered repertoire in order to gain agency. Elements of masquerade can appear in texts that proclaim seemingly unequivocal positions while simultaneously yet subtly suggesting opposing positions. Masquerades of all kinds also seem ubiquitous in fieldwork research and in resistance movements in war zones. Perhaps masquerade, though, is ultimately the denial of death lurking behind the clarion call of security, a call that bolsters war by making militarized policing normal to secure populations from terrorists. These interpretations and others comprise Masquerades of War.
This book will be of much interest to students of critical war studies, critical security, conflict studies and IR in general.
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Christine Sylvester is Professor of Political Science and of Women's Studies at the University of Connecticut, USA. She is also an affiliated professor in the School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Introduction, Christine Sylvester Part I: Conceptualizing the Masquerades of War 1. The Deceptions of the Statesman, Anthony Burke 2. Drawing the Line Between Violence and Non-Violence: Deceits and Conceits, Kimberly Hutchings and Elizabeth Frazer 3. The Armour of Hector: From the Mediation of Violence to its Masquerade, Stephen Chan 4. The Density of Life in Wartime': Embodiment, Experience and Everyday Violence, Kevin McSorley 5. The 'Mad Men' Approach to Warfare: Contemporary War Masquerading as a Communication Enterprise, Caroline Holmqvist 6. Security Show, Jill Gibbon Part II: Examples of Masquerades in War 7. "'Seems He A Dove?' The Scripted and Unscripted Masquerades of Conscientious Objection, Cami Rowe 8. Terror/War: Boston/Iraq, Christine Sylvester 9. Masquerading Maoists: War's Double Agents in India, Swati Parashar 10. Narrating Rapes and Masquerades: Soldiers in the DRC Tell and Hide, Maria Eriksson Baaz and Maria Stern 11. Pain as Masquerades / Masquerades as Pain, Sungju Park-Kang 12. 'Transforming Suffering into Art', Cathy Schlund-Vials 13. Conclusion: Seeing War Anew With and Through Masquerades of War, Christine Sylvester
'How can we know war given that it is presented to us through a shifting kaleidoscope of masquerades, reflected, refracted though mostly obfuscated through mainstream social science? While the authors in this remarkable volume do not pretend to know war, their ability to lay bare the productive power behind the masquerade invites us to reappraise war's brutal materiality as it is mediated through cynical representation. In so doing, we are encouraged to side-step International Relations' typically sanitised renderings of war, where absently present bodies only ever haunt the dominant, yet shackled security narrative. Harnessing insights from performance theory, postcolonial literature, sociology, art and fiction, Professor Sylvester has collected a series of brilliantly insightful essays that take the idea of masquerade as their key point of departure. This highly readable collection from leading scholars in their respective fields troubles the institutionalised wellspring from which understandings of war invariably spring, and in turn, provides for spaces of uncomfortable, yet potent challenges to how we can know war in contemporary times.' -- Paul Higate, University of Bristol, UK
'War does not simply take place on the battlefield, nor is it confined to the moment of crisis. The power of war is that it has the capacity to permeate the everyday and the routine, impacting not just on international politics, but also on lived experience. Masquerades of War is a collection of essays that captures this complexity of war in all its manifestations, but especially as it impacts on experience. Sylvester and her colleagues place the lens on war as 'masquerade', highlighting the performativity of war, its manipulations and deceptions across different contexts, from Iraq to Sierra Leone to the neighbourhoods of urban spaces. A profoundly significant book that deserves the attention of all scholars interested in understanding the phenomenon of war.' -- Vivienne Jabri, King's College London, UK
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