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Öberg, Dan
Alternative names
Publications (10 of 17) Show all publications
Öberg, D. (2020). Exercising war: How tactical and operational modelling shape and reify military practice. Security Dialogue (1-2)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exercising war: How tactical and operational modelling shape and reify military practice
2020 (English)In: Security Dialogue, ISSN 0967-0106, E-ISSN 1460-3640, no 1-2Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This article analyzes how contemporary military training and exercises shape and reify specific modalities of war. Historically, military training has shifted from being individual- and experience-oriented, towards becoming modelled into exercise environments and practices. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with military officers, exercise controllers, and war-game designers, the article distinguishes between tactical training, characterized by military functions embodied through weapon platforms in a demarcated battlespace, and operational training, characterized by administrative and organizational processes embodied through self-referential staff routines. As military exercises integrate the tactical and operational dimensions into a model for warfare, they serve as blueprints for today’s battles at the same time as they perpetuate a martial viewpoint of the world. As a result, preparations for potential future conflicts constitute a fertile ground for apprehending the becoming of war.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2020
Keywords
military exercises, operational art, practices, tactics, war studies, warfare
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Research subject
Krigsvetenskap
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-8885 (URN)10.1177/0967010619890196 (DOI)
Available from: 2020-01-07 Created: 2020-01-07 Last updated: 2020-02-04
Öberg, D. (2019). Ethics, the military imaginary, and practices of war. Critical Studies on Security
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ethics, the military imaginary, and practices of war
2019 (English)In: Critical Studies on Security, ISSN 2162-4887, E-ISSN 2162-4909Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Maja Zehfuss' book War and the politics of ethics makes the claim that Western practices of war are constituted by debates and ideas of ethics, illustrated in particular through the Western wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Herein, this claim is assessed by drawing on Tarak Barkawi and Shane Brightons argument that in contemporary research, war tends to be conceived through secondary phenomena. The paper argues that research focusing on how war is shaped by secondary phenomena often falls back on a reductive understanding, in which war is represented as violent destruction. Moreover, that by seeing war as a multifaceted form shaped by military imaginaries centring on military theory, tactics, and operational art, we may gain a more comprehensive understanding of its ontology and practices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2019
Keywords
war, ethics, military imaginary, warfare, ontology, practice
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Research subject
Krigsvetenskap
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-8765 (URN)10.1080/21624887.2019.1672482 (DOI)
Available from: 2019-10-15 Created: 2019-10-15 Last updated: 2020-01-16
Öberg, D. (2018). Requiem for the battlefield.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Requiem for the battlefield
2018 (English)Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Abstract [en]

Review of Antoine Bousquet’s book The Eye of War: Military Perception from the Telescope to the Drone and a complementary view of the battlefield in relation to the trajectory traced by the author.

Series
The Disorder of Things - Symposia
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Research subject
Krigsvetenskap
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-8486 (URN)
Note

Blog post on The Disorder of Things

Available from: 2019-04-03 Created: 2019-04-03 Last updated: 2019-12-16Bibliographically approved
Öberg, D. (2018). Warfare as design: Transgressive creativity and reductive operational planning. Security Dialogue, 49(6), 493-509
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Warfare as design: Transgressive creativity and reductive operational planning
2018 (English)In: Security Dialogue, ISSN 0967-0106, E-ISSN 1460-3640, Vol. 49, no 6, p. 493-509Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article argues that the politics of contemporary Western warfare finds an important reference point in discourses on military design. In the 2010s, military design has become a trending topic in military discourses on command and planning methodology. Since Clausewitz, warfare has been considered a phenomenon characterized by a tension between creativity and linear planning, and the ideal commander as someone with the vision to overcome this. By mapping and analyzing tactical, operational, and strategic narratives and practices, the article illustrates how they emphasize a warfare based both on experimentation and artistry and on traditional operational planning. In so doing, military design relies on reductive military concepts to push the tension identified by Clausewitz towards its extreme end-point, idealizing creativity as an objective of warfare. The article ends by asking to what extent military design risks spilling over into other dimensions of social and political life. It concludes that in pushing creativity as part of war, military design builds on and justifies transgressive political practices with the risk of becoming a vital aspect of future governing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2018
Keywords
Creativity, military design, military imaginaries, transgression, warfare, war studies
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Research subject
Krigsvetenskap
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-8183 (URN)10.1177/0967010618795787 (DOI)
Available from: 2018-10-05 Created: 2018-10-05 Last updated: 2019-05-02Bibliographically approved
Öberg, D. (2016). Enduring war: Heroes’ Acre, ‘the empty throne’, and the politics of disappearance. Critical Military Studies, 2(3), 155-172
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Enduring war: Heroes’ Acre, ‘the empty throne’, and the politics of disappearance
2016 (English)In: Critical Military Studies, ISSN 2333-7486, E-ISSN 2333-7494, Vol. 2, no 3, p. 155-172Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

War memorials are a common and often controversial part of the commemoration of past wars. In order to better grasp their importance for the way war endures below the surface of peace, this article stages an ethnographic encounter with a Namibian monument: Heroes’ Acre. The memorial embodies the official Namibian narrative on past wars by emphasizing a nationalist and quasi-religious symbolism, a framing that has been challenged by a number of writers pointing to the need for going beyond the state discourse. This article complements and complicates the way Heroes’ Acre appears in discourse by focusing on the interstices and absences at the site. By drawing upon my own visit to the monument as well as theoretical engagements, most notably Georgio Agamben’s discussion of ‘the empty throne’, I read Heroes’ Acre as a place where political power functions through emptiness, as it allows the future of war to endure in the present. Engaging particularly with the empty graveyard at the site, I argue that its emptiness needs to be understood as a guarantee for war – not in case it occurs – but as a ready-made symbol of glory, always virtually there, waiting to be fulfilled.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2016
Keywords
Critical War Studies, Namibia, Disappearance
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Research subject
Krigsvetenskap
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-5997 (URN)10.1080/23337486.2016.1149299 (DOI)
Available from: 2016-02-24 Created: 2016-02-24 Last updated: 2017-07-06Bibliographically approved
Öberg, D. (2016). Japanese warrior transformation: bushido as the continuation of death by other means. In: Peter Haldén & Peter Jackson (Ed.), Transforming warriors: the ritual organization of military force (pp. 109-125). New York: Routledge
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Japanese warrior transformation: bushido as the continuation of death by other means
2016 (English)In: Transforming warriors: the ritual organization of military force / [ed] Peter Haldén & Peter Jackson, New York: Routledge, 2016, p. 109-125Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Routledge, 2016
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Krigsvetenskap
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-6555 (URN)9781138642836 (ISBN)
Available from: 2017-01-18 Created: 2017-01-18 Last updated: 2017-01-18Bibliographically approved
Öberg, D. (2016). Suicide, the only politically worthy act (firsted.). In: Elizabeth Dauphinee, Naeem Inayatullah (Ed.), Narrative Global Politics: Theory, history and the personal in international relations (pp. 191-199). London: Routledge
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Suicide, the only politically worthy act
2016 (English)In: Narrative Global Politics: Theory, history and the personal in international relations / [ed] Elizabeth Dauphinee, Naeem Inayatullah, London: Routledge, 2016, first, p. 191-199Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge, 2016 Edition: first
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Krigsvetenskap
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-7321 (URN)9781138182660 (ISBN)9781315646282 (ISBN)
Available from: 2018-03-12 Created: 2018-03-12 Last updated: 2018-04-11Bibliographically approved
Öberg, D. (2016). War, transparency and control: the military architecture of operational warfare. Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 29(3), 1132-1149
Open this publication in new window or tab >>War, transparency and control: the military architecture of operational warfare
2016 (English)In: Cambridge Review of International Affairs, ISSN 0955-7571, E-ISSN 1474-449X, Vol. 29, no 3, p. 1132-1149Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In contemporary research, transparency is commonly understood to indicate and guarantee openness, in ways that make it synonymous with positive characteristics of governing. However, the allegedly benevolent link between transparency and governing has also been questioned, giving rise to arguments that transparency enables violent social control. Drawing upon this latter view, the article stages an encounter between critical debates on transparency and critical accounts of war to examine the way that they come together in the operationalization of warfare. Engaging particularly with Jean Baudrillard’s writing on transparency, the article inquires into the way control is socially manufactured and administered through military doctrines. It concludes that the operationalization of warfare is not, as many tend to argue, first and foremost about a response to practical problems when conducting wars. Rather, it consists of the potential to unveil global space and global time as an attempt to maintain and control future political becoming

National Category
Other Social Sciences
Research subject
Krigsvetenskap
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-6328 (URN)10.1080/09557571.2016.1230733 (DOI)000392808400020 ()
Available from: 2016-10-21 Created: 2016-10-21 Last updated: 2018-07-23Bibliographically approved
Nordin, A. H. .. & Öberg, D. (2015). Targeting the Ontology of War: From Clausewitz to Baudrillard. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 43(2), 392-410
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Targeting the Ontology of War: From Clausewitz to Baudrillard
2015 (English)In: Millennium: Journal of International Studies, ISSN 0305-8298, E-ISSN 1477-9021, Vol. 43, no 2, p. 392-410Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Against a surprising level of agreement between Clausewitz, contemporary military doctrines and critical war studies on an ontology of war as fighting, we suggest that the study of contemporary warfare needs to focus more on war as processing. Through Jean Baudrillard we argue that at least some of what is referred to as ‘war’ is no longer characterised by encounters through fighting. We exemplify our argument by how the repetitive battle-rhythm of military targeting strives for perfect war. What remains is not war as an object in itself, but a reified ‘war’ that obscures the disappearance of that very object. The debate on war contributes to the reification of such a war, as an imperative telling us: ‘we have a concept, you must learn to think through it’.

Keywords
ontology of war, critical war studies, Baudrillard, disappearance, targeting, warfare, Clausewitz
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Krigsvetenskap
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-5003 (URN)10.1177/0305829814552435 (DOI)000348305800002 ()
Available from: 2014-11-04 Created: 2014-11-04 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
Öberg, D. (2015). Violent Fragments. Journal of Narrative Politics, 1(2), 150-152
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Violent Fragments
2015 (English)In: Journal of Narrative Politics, ISSN 2368-2507, Vol. 1, no 2, p. 150-152Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Toronto: , 2015
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Krigsvetenskap
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-7320 (URN)
Available from: 2018-03-12 Created: 2018-03-12 Last updated: 2018-03-14Bibliographically approved
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