War, Politics, and the Subject: Karl Clausewitz's Philosophy of Warfare

by Balakleets Natalia Alexandrovna (2017)
PhD in Philosophy
associate professor of the Department of Philosophy at Ulyanovsk State Technical University
432027, Russia, Ulyanovsk, str. Severnyi Venets, 32
[email protected]
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Note: This page contains links to several other recent Russian papers that feature significant discussions of Clausewitz.




The subject of this article is the concept of war by Karl Clausewitz, presented in his work “On War” (“Vom Kriege”). The article substantiates the significance of the theoretical heritage of the German general for modern philosophical discourse. Such elements of Clausewitz's theory as the relationship between war and politics, the structure and characteristics of military activity are considered in detail. The author pays special attention to the temporal aspects of military activity, as well as to the analysis of its subject. Based on numerous theoretical sources, including those not translated into Russian (R. Aron, G. Münkler, W. Kleemayer, V. Palaver, R. Girard, M. Foucault, J. Lo, etc.), the author explicates the heuristic potential and methodological significance of Clausewitz's ideas in relation to the current state of society. Along with general theoretical research methods, the article uses post-structuralist and hermeneutic methodology, as well as the method of comparative analysis of philosophical doctrines. The novelty of the study lies in the identification of the diverse philosophical aspects implicitly presented in Clausewitz's theory of war, including those of a methodological nature. The author comes to the conclusion about the complex and ambiguous nature of the interaction between war and politics, analyzed in the text "Vom Kriege". The author's special contribution lies in the explication of biopolitical ideas in the teachings of the German theorist, as well as in substantiating the relevance of the subject category in Clausewitz's interpretation of modern management philosophy.


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