Publications

23 December 2019

Knowledge in and of Military Operations

by :

Abstract

This article analyses the recent military ‘turn to reflexivity’ in relation to current reflexive commitments in critical studies of the military. With reflexivity, military organizations have begun to inquire into its own role as a producer and user of knowledge, and into the constitutive effects of knowledge in and on the world. A reflexive concern with the conditions and effects of knowledge has thus made militaries sensitive to the epistemic dimensions of military force. The broader socio-political implications of the military’s attention to epistemics, in terms of how knowledge may constitute and bring into being novel socio-political orderings, make it an urgent task to explore this development in relation to the reflexive state of critical research on the military. The first argument that I make in the article is that existing reflexive commitments in critical military studies are conceptually able to target scholarly-military epistemic interactions and the constitutive effects thereof, but less able to address epistemic distinctions in terms of how knowledge is produced and how different conditions shape the content of knowledge. This, however, is what is needed to critically address the military reflexive development. Based on this, I argue secondly that a fruitful broadening and enriching of the reflexive gaze may be achieved by further taking reflexivity in a Bourdieusian direction – a move that ultimately works complementary to existing reflexive commitments in critical military studies.

Knowledge in and of military operations enriching the reflexive gaze in critical research on the military

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