Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cross-disciplinary research could mean more effective military interventions

22.02.2011
Several academic disciplines study how to achieve success in military interventions in internal wars, not least peace studies and war studies.

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.

Military interventions interpreted differently depending on discipline
The findings suggest that military interventions in internal wars are interpreted and studied in different ways depending on the disciplinary perspective used. For example, different relationships are central to the two perspectives. Peace studies focus primarily on the relationship between the warring parties in a conflict, which means that its theories often concerns how the intervening forces can improve the chances of the parties achieving a peace agreement, increase the trust between the parties, increase the cost of continued fighting, and increase the benefits of ending the conflict.

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.
Opponent: Ivan Arreguín-Toft, Boston University, Boston, USA
For more information, please contact:
Kersti Larsdotter, telephone: +46(0)73 362 2505, e-mail: kersti.larsdotter@globalstudies.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://hdl.handle.net/2077/24073
http://www.gu.se

More articles from Interdisciplinary Research:

nachricht Lego-like wall produces acoustic holograms
17.10.2016 | Duke University

nachricht New evidence on terrestrial and oceanic responses to climate change over last millennium
11.10.2016 | University of Granada

All articles from Interdisciplinary Research >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>