How are soldiers made? Why do they fight? Re-imagining the study of armed forces and society, Barkawi examines the imperial and multinational armies that fought in Asia in the Second World War, especially the British Indian army in the Burma campaign. Going beyond conventional narratives, Barkawi studies soldiers in transnational context, from recruitment and training to combat and memory. Drawing on history, sociology and anthropology, the book critiques the 'Western way of war' from a postcolonial perspective. Barkawi reconceives soldiers as cosmopolitan, their battles irreducible to the national histories that monopolise them. This book will appeal to those interested in the Second World War, armed forces and the British Empire, and students and scholars of military sociology and history, South Asian studies and international relations.
Tarak Barkawi is Reader in the Department of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Introduction. Decolonising the soldier; Part I. Colonial Soldiers: 1. Making colonial soldiers in British India; 2. Unmaking an imperial army; 3. Politics and prisoners in the Indian army; Part II. Going to War: 4. Defeat, drill and discipline; 5. Ritual, solidarity and sacrifice; 6. Battle; Part III. History and Theory: 7. The experience and representation of combat; 8. Cosmopolitan military histories and sociologies.