New societies, new soldiers? A soldier typology
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionKaspersen, I. S. (2020). New societies, new soldiers? A soldier typology. Small Wars & Insurgencies. doi: 10.1080/09592318.2020.1785990
The term ‘soldier’ is frequently conceptualized as a warrior, a peacekeeper, or a hybrid of both. However, recent changes in the utilization of soldiers in societies have moved the repertoire of possible ways to think, act, and behave beyond these notions. As such, there exists an undertheorized gap between different expectations of soldiers and actual soldier roles. This presents a need for more nuanced and analytically useful conceptualizations of soldier roles. This article provides a more thorough understanding of the soldier role by identifying seven ideal types of soldiers: the warrior, nation-defender, law-enforcer, humanitarian, state-builder, and the ideological, and contractor soldiers. The typology offers an analytical tool with the capacity to maneuver the empirical reality, which is important because how soldier roles are constructed affect how military personnel understand their role in the postmodern world, where identity is multifaceted and negotiable. Ultimately, identity influences how soldiers interact with societies and how societies respond to war, conflicts, and crises.