Handbook on Gender and War
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Handbook on Gender and War

Edited by Simona Sharoni, Julia Welland, Linda Steiner and Jennifer Pedersen

Gender and war are in many ways inextricably linked, and this path-breaking Handbook systematically examines the major issues surrounding this relationship. Each of its four sections covers a distinct phase of war: gender and opposition to war; gender and the conduct of war; gender and the impact of war; and gender and the aftermath of war. Original contributions from an international group of leading experts make use of a range of historical and contemporary examples to interrogate the multi-faceted connection between gender and war.
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Chapter 5: Not all soldiers: hegemonic masculinity and the problem of soldiers’ agency in an age of technological intervention

Mary Manjikian

Abstract

New technologies are likely to upend the hegemonic masculinist notion of the ‘heroic warrior’, as physiological and cognitive enhancements to the warfighter will eliminate the soldier’s ability to display agency and autonomy. Here we consider three new types of soldiers: the Enhanced Soldier, the Hybrid Soldier and the Drugged Soldier. In all three newly emerging types, the warfighter has his or her experience of war mediated through technologies which affect how he or she participates in war, thinks about war and deals morally and ethically with its aftermath. In addition, practices such as ‘just in time’ training of troops and an emphasis on the fungibility of soldiers as inputs in a time of military austerity create a new powerlessness for all warfighters, ultimately calling into question the privileges thought to accrue with professional service in a first-world military and making soldiers everywhere look more alike than different.

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