CfP: Close Encounters in War Journal – n. 0

Extended deadline to 30th November 2017

Special Issue: “Close encounters in irregular and asymmetric warfare”

Close Encounters in War Journal is a new independent and peer-reviewed journal aimed at studying war as a human experience, through interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches ranging from the Humanities to the Social Sciences. The launch issue (n. 0) of Close Encounters in War Journal will be a Special Issue dedicated specifically to irregular warfare and titled “Close encounters in irregular and asymmetric warfare”.

Wars in general are cultural phenomena, among the most ancient and deeply rooted aspects of human cultural evolution: investigating their meaning, by reflecting on the ways we experience wars and conflicts as human beings is therefore essential. Conflict is deeply intertwined with language, culture, instincts, passions, behavioural patterns and with the human ability to represent concepts aesthetically. The concept of “encounter” is therefore fundamental as it involves experience, and as a consequence it implies the idea that the fact of encountering war shapes and develops our minds and affects our behaviour, questioning habits and values, prejudices and views of the world.

One of the most ancient types of warfare is what today is referred to as ‘irregular warfare’, as opposed to ‘conventional warfare’, which is a relatively more recent development. The combat strategies and tactics used by tribal warriors, modern guerrillas, resistance fighters and terrorists have recently been attracting the attention of military historians, strategists and intelligence experts due to the widespread terror threat, but how do human beings experience this particular type of warfare? Does it seem more threatening and scary because it can involve civilians more deeply? or because it blurs the traditional idea of war as open confrontation with a recognisable enemy? What drives non-combatants to arm themselves and become fighters? Is irregular warfare more violent, brutal and dehumanising than conventional warfare and if so, why? What is their cultural, linguistic and anthropological impact? And finally, is irregular warfare adopted also by regular armies? What is the impact of such warfare on the war-experience of the combatants involved?

For the launch issue (n. 0) of Close Encounters in War we invite articles which investigate irregular and asymmetric conflicts from ancient times to modern and contemporary periods, reaching beyond the study of military tactics and strategy and focusing on the way human beings ‘encounter’ with and within this type of armed conflict. Contributions are invited to promote discussion and scholarly research from established scholars, early-career researchers, and from practitioners who have encountered irregular warfare in the course of their activities.

The topics that can be investigated include but are not limited to:

· Irregular, asymmetric and unconventional warfare
· Insurgency and counterinsurgency
· Resistance and partisan war
· Terrorism and counter-terrorism
· Violence and trauma
· Cultural encounters and identity
· Representations of otherness, race, and gender
· Religion and politics
· Testimonies, witness-representations, oral history and memory studies

The editors of Close Encounters in War invite the submission of 3-500 words abstracts in English by 30th November 2017 to the following addresses: and Decisions will be made by 2nd January 2018 and the completed articles (6000-8000 words including footnotes, bibliography excluded, in English) will be expected by 15th May 2018. All contributions will go under a process of blind peer-review.

Workshop: Veteran Dialogue and the Future of War, Pembroke College, 13 & 14 June 2017

The Changing Character of War (CCW) programme, Pembroke College Oxford, is hosting a two day workshop on the 13th and 14th of June on the themes of veteran civilian dialogue and the future of warfare.

Location: Harold Lee Room, Pembroke College, Oxford OX1 1DW

This event is a two-day, panel-based workshop, devoted to the two themes of veteran/civilian dialogue and the future of warfare. The purpose of this workshop is to engage a broad audience of civilians, military personnel, academics and non-academics alike and encourage them to think more deeply about their moral relationship to these important and timely themes. The veteran dialogue portion of the workshop will focus on such broad themes as: soldier recruitment and the making of soldiers, the ethical experience of war, what we think society owes to veterans, veteran healthcare and compensation, moral injury, PTSD, spouse and family issues, and civil-military relations. The future of war portion of the workshop will focus on such broad themes as: emerging technologies such as fully autonomous weapons, soldier enhancement, surveillance and meta-data; counter-terrorism and institutional reform, the ‘individualization’ of war, war and poverty, and emerging conceptual frameworks for military tactics and strategy.

Further information on the workshop and booking via Eventbrite here.

There is an evening event at 7pm on 13 June, which people are invited to, even if they cannot attend the workshop. Further information here and download poster: Veteran Poster- Is War the Health of the State