But the fact that researchers in the various disciplines formulate the problems differently and use different scientific methods means that they often reach different conclusions. A thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows that an interdisciplinary approach could improve the research and thus benefit military operations.
Research is generally carried out within the framework of different academic disciplines. These disciplines colour researchers’ perceptions of the world around them and how the research is carried out. This, in turn, is considered to benefit the development of knowledge as it focuses and delineates the research. But advocates of interdisciplinary research argue that disciplines restrict researchers, and that some problems fall outside the scope of the disciplinary framework. This means that knowledge about these problems is difficult to develop.
Using this as a basis, Kersti Larsdotter has written a thesis that investigates how military interventions in internal wars are studied within the disciplines of peace studies and war studies, and how the differences between the two disciplines affect the development of knowledge in the field. She uses the ISAF mission in Afghanistan as a case study.
War studies, by contrast, focus on the relationship between the warring parties on the one hand and the local population on the other, which means that its theories mainly concerns how the intervening forces affect the relationship between the local population and the warring parties. By protecting the population and offering food and other necessities the military forces are considered to influence the population to support the state actor in a conflict, and thus reduce support for the insurgents.
To pave the way for a more rational approach to increasing knowledge about military interventions in civil wars, the thesis proposes that research on military interventions should be integrated rather than carried out in parallel in the two different disciplines.
“For example, including both types of relationship in the theories on military interventions could improve our knowledge of these interventions,” says Larsdotter. “How, for example, do the conduct of military forces affect the relationship between the warring parties, and the relationship between the warring parties on the one hand and the local population on the other?”
The findings of the thesis also have implications for the execution of military interventions in internal wars. The various aspects studied in the different disciplines are important for strategy, tactics and doctrines, and should therefore also be included in the planning and execution of these interventions.
“If the military forces focus solely on how to change the relationship between the warring parties on the one hand and the local population on the other, they could impact on the relationship between the warring parties in ways they hadn’t predicted,” says Larsdotter. “The inclusion of this relationship in the planning of military operations could reduce the risk of unforeseen consequences.”The thesis was successfully defended on February 11.
Lego-like wall produces acoustic holograms
17.10.2016 | Duke University
New evidence on terrestrial and oceanic responses to climate change over last millennium
11.10.2016 | University of Granada
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences
25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.10.2016 | Process Engineering