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Chapter 9 - War as Transformative

from Part II - Change Agents, in Theory and Practice

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 January 2023

Fathali M. Moghaddam
Affiliation:
Georgetown University
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Summary

Societies are transformed by total wars, which mobilize entire populations, penetrate society as a whole, and involve both civilian and military populations as direct targets of aggression, as well as resources for inflicting harm and destroying the enemy. Total wars bring about enormous (forced) movement of populations, as well as changes in gender roles and social class relations. Because most men are directly involved on the front lines of the war effort, new opportunities are created for women to become active in areas from which they were previously excluded. Also, because of the enormous sacrifices made by the general population and the real possibility of national defeat at the hands of the enemy, the rich also become more ready to make some sacrifices. During total wars, the rich–poor divide becomes smaller, as the rich make larger contributions toward the war effort. However, as discussed in this chapter, evidence suggests that this increase in political plasticity is only temporary. The rich–poor divide has increased enormously since World War II.

Type
Chapter
Information
Political Plasticity
The Future of Democracy and Dictatorship
, pp. 101 - 114
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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