The interplay of politics and warfare. A key issue being Clausewitz’s argument that to remove the ‘political’ element from an act of war renders the act meaningless. The political manoeuvrings that surround conflict are crucial to the understanding of warfare.
The clash of cultures where two very different principles of war are deployed.
Power and Networks.
Abstract concepts of ‘what power is?’ and ‘how does it work?’ are crucial to the study of military history and politics. Political networks examine the means by which various actors and interest groups attempt to influence policy-making institutions. ‘Network’ ideas have great potential to aid an interpretation of events as they unfold in the light of abstract concepts of power.
I am also very interested in the study of situations where different cultural conceptions of warfare encounter each other in both war and peace. Therefore, my current research focuses upon the warfare between the Chiricahua Apaches, led by Victorio and Nana, and the USA and Mexico during the late 1870s and early 1880s. This leads on to a long-term project to analyse ‘American Indian’ policy-making processes in Washington D.C. during the period 1864-1890 with a view to drawing parallels with contemporary events.