Forsvarets Forskningsdatabase


On the practice of warfare: Understanding the role of military doctrine (PhD).

Projekt: Typer af projekter


This project seeks to understand military doctrine through an empirical investigation of its role in the military staff organization. On the outside military doctrine might seem neatly ordered in written manuals with clear definitions, prescriptions, and guidance. On the inside doctrine is a fuzzy concept. Ideas on what doctrine is range from objective fundamental principles to subjective beliefs, from authorized documents to tacit knowledge. Military practitioners navigate this ambiguity when working with doctrine; but they also engage in continuous discussions on what counts as doctrine, how it should be understood and applied in specific situations and ultimately how it is turned into a military operation. Such discussions are central to this study. Focus is on what doctrine does from a practical point of view rather than what doctrine is from a theoretical point of view. Building on contemporary research on organisational standards, the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) offers a conceptual framework to understand ambiguous concepts like doctrine by focusing on practices around the use of it.

Concretely, this project will follow NATO doctrine at work within NATO Multi National Division North staff to map and analyse the workaround involved in the practical use of doctrine. The main research questions are how doctrine operates in the military domain and, especially, how the military staff works with doctrine during the planning and conduct of military operations and on how doctrine shapes thinking and action.
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