Heroism and the Changing Character of War

Scheipers, Sibylle
Date published: 
March 2014

Post-heroism is often perceived as one of the main aspects of change in the character of war. Large parts of the contemporary strategic discourse rest on the assumption that war today is no longer fuelled by heroic motivations, and does not produce any popular public heroes, particularly in western democracies. Willingness to kill or die for the cause of one's socio-political community appears to be either a phenomenon of an historical stage that western states have long left behind, or an indicator of nationalistic or religious fanaticism.