Vorlesungs- und Lehrendenverzeichnis

SoSe 2017

Western Societies and New Wars

Soenke Neitzel | Mi 10 - 12 Uhr | Raum: | Erste Veranstaltung: 19.04.2017


The end of the Cold War was neither the end of history nor the end of war. Since then, the character of war confronting Western societies has changed dramatically. Where once the West concentrated on a war of attrition against the Warsaw Pact, it now faced small wars. In most Western countries, neither the armed forces nor the public was prepared for, or willing to wage, such wars.

The reactions to post-1990 military challenges differed significantly between countries. The armed forces of the United States had been deployed in “out-of-area” operations and in counter insurgency missions during the Cold War. The soldiers of other nations had not fought since 1945. In 1994 the High Court of Germany gave permission for the Bundeswehr to deploy in world-wide operations under NATO or UNO command.  Since then, Germany has deployed its troops in out-of-area missions. However, the German public has not formed a clear view on war in general or the use of military power in particular circumstances.  

The US and Germany are two examples of the very different ways in which Western states dealt with new wars since 1990. Other countries such as Britain, Spain and Italy had their own specific definitions of their duties in the post-cold-war world and how they should use military power.

This course will explore the different attitudes, perceptions and discourses of western countries on war since 1990. The course will briefly review the history of the conflicts in Iraq, the Balkans, Afghanistan and Libya. It will then concentrate on the analysis of the relationship between politics, society and the armed forces. The course will analyse different national military and political traditions. It will examine remembrance and public discourse in the media. Primary sources will include newspapers, books, TV-documentaries, historical monuments and comics. These sources will unearth if and how the discourse about war and the military has changed since 1990 on a transnational level. We will explore the extent to which value shifts in contemporary society have changed the approach to modern wars.


Marcel Bohnert, Lukas J. Reitstetter (Hrsg.), Armee im Aufbruch. Zur Gedankenwelt junger Offiziere in den Kampftruppen der Bundeswehr, Hamburg 2014.

Christopher Coker, Waging War without Warriors? The Changing Culture of Military Conflict, London 2002

Mark A Duffield, Global governance and the new wars: the merging of development and security, London 2001.

Sabine Manitz (Hrsg.), Democratic Civil-Military Relations. Soldierung in 21st Century Europe, London 2012.

Herfried MĂĽnkler, Die neuen Kriege, Hamburg 2003

Mary Kaldor, New and old wars : organized violence in a global era, Cambridge 2006

Kaushik Roy, War and Society in Afghanistan. From the Mughals tot he Americans, 1500-2013, Oxford 2015, S. 155-276.

Paolo Tripodi, Jessica Wolfendale, New Wars and New Soldiers, Farnham 2012


Die Unterrichtssprache im Seminar ist Englisch.
Referat (unbenotet) für das Seminar und eine Hausarbeit von maximal 45.000 Zeichen Länge für die Modulprüfung.

Studiengänge und Module

MT War and Conflict Studies 2016
Oberseminar, GES_MA_019 Militär und Gesellschaft nach 1945


Universität Potsdam
Philosophische Fakultät
Am Neuen Palais 10
14469 Potsdam