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Religion or reason?: exploring alternative ways to measure the quality of doctrine
Swedish National Defence College, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Division of Strategy.
Swedish National Defence College, Department of Military Studies, War Studies Division, Sektionen för marina operationer (KV Marin).
2016 (English)In: Journal of Strategic Studies, ISSN 0140-2390, E-ISSN 1743-937X, Vol. 39, no 2, 198-212 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article, we address the often ignored issue of quality standards for doctrine. In doing so, we contribute to the existing literature on military doctrine, since much of previous research has focused on outlining the effects of doctrine or the causes of particular doctrinal content, rather than how we should measure its quality. The predominant way of understanding quality of doctrine is based on the rationalist understanding of doctrine as a force multiplier. However, rationalist aims do not necessarily tell us anything about the contents of doctrine. Hence, a doctrine can be seemingly of high quality, but ultimately impede or lead armed forces astray. Rather than focusing on the utilitarian side of doctrine, we suggest that doctrine should mainly be understood as articles of faith or a belief system. And thus the quality of doctrine becomes inextricably linked to military norms and military identity. Writing doctrine thus becomes part of ritual, rather than reason.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2016. Vol. 39, no 2, 198-212 p.
Keyword [en]
doctrine, education, command, force multiplier, religion
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-5743DOI: 10.1080/01402390.2015.1115034OAI: diva2:893024
Available from: 2016-01-11 Created: 2016-01-11 Last updated: 2016-08-09Bibliographically approved

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Ångström, JanWidén, Jerker
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Division of StrategySektionen för marina operationer (KV Marin)
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