Narrative approach to the art of war and military studies - Narratology as military science research paradigm

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Abstract

The purpose of this article is to initiate discussion into the role narratives could play in military studies. Narratology is an old and well-established research paradigm that first emerged as part of the linguistic turn. Yet its potential has not been depleted. It is the study of narratives or stories. There are plenty of topics not yet approached from this perspective especially in the field of military studies. The military academia needs to broaden its scope of research and allow for alternative orientations and theories to be used to address traditional dilemmas, create new research paradigms and enrich the variety of analysis. Critical security studies approach shared topics with military studies by embracing the aesthetic turn that differentiates between the representation and the represented. The argument in this article is that to produce comprehensive information on its research topics military studies would benefit from embracing them as people experience them and not focus on their ontology. The article does not offer a methodological toolbox to the reader but rather an introduction to some classics of narratology and offers a few insights how this type of approach could be used in military history, strategy, operational art or even leadership studies.

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