Published February 22, 2021 | Version v1
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From Battlefield to Political Arena. Shifting the Clausewitzian Paradigm



  • 1. Karadeniz Technical University
  • 2. Adiyaman University


War and politics are closely interrelated. If it is assumed, as in the case of Clausewitz's famous principle, that "war is a mere continuation of policy by other means... is not merely a political act, but also a truly political instrument, a continuation of political commerce, a carrying out of the same by other means" (Von Clausewitz, 1976), then it should be acknowledged that war is a political act. But Foucault inverts Clausewitz's traditional conception of war and says that politics is the continuation of war by other means (Foucault, 2006: 165). Here the emphasis of the discussion on war moves on politics. So, how to limit conflict within the political arena? The question shifts from the concept of armed conflict (i.e., war) to that of political conflict, in which nations confront against each other with alternate means such assanctions, coercive diplomatic efforts, economic warfare, or as prelude to war (Carisch et al., 2017).


Political Reflection, 7 (2), Issue 27 (April-May-June 2021). The author gratefully acknowledges the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), Portugal, for supporting this work through grant SFRH/BD/136170/2018.



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