Danish Defence Research Database

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Culture as Operational Enabler: Training Danish officers to understand the interaction between cultural dynamics and military operations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

In recent years, Danish officers have been involved in military capacity building, primarily in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2013, Denmark has contributed to the UN mission MINUSMA in Mali. Deployments in different coalitions, where officers work with training, mentoring and peacekeeping illustrate the need for understanding how cultural dynamics affect military operations, and vice versa. Recent research conducted at the Royal Danish Defence College recommends that future cultural training of officers should include a focus on ‘cultural interoperability’ - the cultural dynamics within own military forces and the interaction with the armed forces of partner nations.
In this chapter, experiences from the elective module ‘Culture as Operational Enabler’ in the ‘Master in Military Studies’ course will be discussed:
What were the dilemmas and challenges faced by teachers during the module?
How did the officers welcome the concepts and research taught by military anthropologists?
What are the main differences between military thinking and academic thinking?
By studying the Danish experiences, the chapter centers on exploring the challenges in teaching academic theory and research methods in a military environment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWarriors or Peacekeepers? : Building Military Cultural Competence
EditorsKjetil Enstad, Paula Holmes-Eber
Number of pages20
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Publication date30 Apr 2020
Edition1
Pages97-116
Chapter7
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-36765-7
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-36766-4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2020

    Research and development areas

  • Military education, Operational Culture, Anthropology, Royal Danish Defence College, Master in Military Studies, Officer training

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