VIRTUOUS WAR: Mapping the Military-Industrial Media-Entertainment Network. James Der Derian, Author, James Der Derian, Author. Westview $26 (p). Book review: James Der Derian Virtuous War: Mapping the Military—Industrial— Media—Entertainment Network, 2nd edn London: Routledge, pp. James Der Derian’s timely book adds to the debate by exploring the role technology can play in fighting ‘virtuous wars’ with fewer casualties.

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James Der Derian London: Routledge, Second Edition, The end of the last millennium was a challenging period for the international relations discipline. Derrian theories had failed to jajes the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics USSRleaving many authors with their knowledge on a bipolar world outdated overnight.

Within the first decade of the new millennium, non-state actors started to exert more power than extant theories had afforded them.

Virtuous War: Mapping The Military- Industrial-media-entertainment Network

Derian reiterates his thesis throughout the book, but adopts a unique approach to advancing his argument. Der Derian also includes photographs from his travels while researching the book, none of which provide anything more than a visual reproduction of description situation or image he has already discussed in text.

This eclectic combination of source material and research leads to an interesting situation with different types of prose of varying technical and structural styles. As a result, readers are unlikely to see Der Derian or his work as a theory through which to understand international politics and the relationship between technology and military jamse or have their value propositions altered.


While decrying the lack of objective quality media reporting and their unquestioning co-opting by the military, Der Derian cements a contrary position. Rather than noting such service personnel would have likely been briefed to provide such statements and avoid off-topic discussions, these passages could easily be seen as a portraying an implicitly negative perception of the military.

His cursory approach to the media is similar. This may be true for some networks and news agencies, but this is a massive oversimplification.

Der Derian fails to acknowledge the numerous media agencies, many government-owned, buck this trend. While in recent conflicts, there have been widespread instances of media outlets being used to support proffered narratives of conflict favourable to combatants, this does not always occur.

Ultimately, in many countries, numerous outlets provide objective reporting and allow consumers to form their own opinions. The media, like the military, is not a homogeneous entity, and to suggest it is not only an oversimplification, but also it is misleading. Relevance and Theoretical Contribution.

A large question that should accompany the second edition of the book is its ongoing relevance. When the first edition went to print, Global Positioning Systems GPS were not common, however now they are included as standard in many cars. Similarly, the use of precision munitions was in its infancy and not regularly on public display when the first edition was printed.

However, at the time of printing the second edition, the increasing role of technology plays for militaries and governments to assist their operations and minimise uniformed and civilian casualties is widely acknowledged both inside and outside of academia.

Review – Virtuous War

What remains could not be considered a genuine and sustained academic exposition of virtual theory, but rather a travel book with occasional chapters on international relations theory and post-modern concepts. Readers who are well acquainted with the international relations field will virtuus see Virtuous War as novel more for its twist on the genre than for any contribution of new scholarship. Many of its points are made in illuminating and thought virtuouw ways, but ultimately its tone and structure derina better suited to entertainment media than to academic literature.


As a roaming and entertaining look at the interplay of technology and force, Virtuous War delivers. Accessed 20 December James Der Derian Virtuous War: Mapping the Military-industrial-media-entertainment network — second edition. Before you download your free e-book, please consider donating to support open access publishing. E-IR is an independent non-profit publisher run by an all volunteer team.

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Routledge, Second Edition, The end of the last millennium was a challenging period for the international relations discipline.

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