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Ways of Warmaking

How conceptions of war have conditioned the emergence of the modern state


For most of the modern period, war has been understood in essentialist terms, as a timeless category of thought and action. Yet arguably, the concept of war has undergone a series of significant changes from the sixteenth century to the present, and many of these changes have had a profound impact on the ways in which we understand the sociopolitical world.

Hence, in this project, I explore how changing conceptualizations of war have shaped the identities of agents and the boundaries separating them.

Doing this, I focus on how conceptions of war have conditioned the emergence of the modern state, how different constructions and justifications of war in international law have shaped the international system of states, and, finally, how different understandings of war have been instrumental in creating and maintaining geographical separations between the West and the rest.


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Researchers on the project


  • ’Ways of Warmaking’, in Hans Ruin & Andrus Ers (eds.) Rethinking Time. Essays on Historical Consciousness, Memory, and Representation, Södertörn Philosophical Studies 10, 2011, pp. 167-178.
  • ’Double Binds: Sovereignty and the Just War Tradition’, in Hent Kalmo & Quentin Skinner (eds.) Sovereignty in Fragments. The Past, Present and Future of a Contested Concept, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp. 81-95.

Department of Political Science
Lund University
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Faculty of Social Sciences