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Gamla och nya legosoldater
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of History.
2016 (Swedish)In: Krig: tjugotvå försök / [ed] Mattias Hessérus, Peter Luthersson, Stockholm: Axel och Margaret Ax:son Johnsons stiftelse för allmännyttiga ändamål , 2016Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this essay I discuss mercenaries as a historical phenomenon and its implications to modern warfare. To a large extent mercenaries were instrumental in creating and consolidating early modern states in Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries. When the role of the military entrepreneurs declined in the 18th century it was not because of declining usefulness but because of an ideological shift. The enlightenment gave birth to nationalism and promoted the concept of citizen armies instead of processional entrepreneurs. But the very negative image of the mercenary figure was by no means a new one. It was in fact established already by the early 16th century generation of humanists – and also by Machiavelli – condemning the whole idea of fighting for profit. During the enlightenment these ideas finally prevailed and for two centuries the common citizen of the European states took to the trenches as a consequence. Many western intellectuals who today promote "democratic" ideals in the third world likewise condemn the use of mercenaries in what could in fact often be described as state-making conflicts in these areas. But why should we deny, for instance, African governments the same tools of political consolidation as were once successfully used in Europe? Could formative steps of state-making just be "skipped" in order to speed up development according to post-modern western ideals?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Axel och Margaret Ax:son Johnsons stiftelse för allmännyttiga ändamål , 2016.
National Category
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-138584ISBN: 9789189672840 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-138584DiVA: diva2:1067795
Note

Innehåller essäer skrivna vid en doktorandkurs sommaren 2015, med titeln "Krig - dess upphov och konsekvenser för samhällsutvecklingen".

Available from: 2017-01-23 Created: 2017-01-23 Last updated: 2017-01-23Bibliographically approved

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