Media, War and Postmodernity

Media, War and Postmodernity

Media, War and Postmodernity
London, Routledge, 2007
ISBN: 9780415374934 (HB) / 9780415374941 (PB)
Amazon UK / Amazon USA



Introduction: Postmodernism and 9/11

1. Postmodern War in a World without Meaning

2. The Humanitarian Spectacle

3. The Media War on Terrorism

4. Culture Wars and the Post-Vietnam Condition

5. Security and Vulnerability in the ‘Risk Society’

6. Postmodern Empire and the ‘Death of the Subject’

Conclusion: Beyond Postmodernity


‘Hammond provides an excellent discussion of contemporary warfare. The focus on spectacle, image and attempts to make conflict “risk-averse”, a kind of warfare without death and killing, is a response to the “crisis of meaning” in Western societies….[The book] Makes a difficult subject accessible and engaging.’
– Professor Kevin Williams, Swansea University (read review)

‘In Media, War and Postmodernity, Philip Hammond grapples with the question: why, in the twenty-first century, does there seem to be no obvious connection between national interest and patterns of global conflict? The book provides important insights into the confused agenda behind events such as Western intervention in the Former Yugoslavia in the mid- and late 1990s, Washington’s adventure in Somalia in 1993, and the two Gulf Wars in 1991 and 2003….Media, War and Postmodernity is an important book that explains how “weak values” in the West have a tragic habit of provoking violence in the most unexpected of places.’
– Professor Frank Furedi, University of Kent (read review)

Media, War and Postmodernity is an ambitious work…[which] explores the link between rising numbers of military engagements overseas and the demise of social cohesion or clarity of purpose at home….In an age when…illiberal liberals demand action in Darfur, Burma, Iran and even China, this book is a welcome reminder that maybe we should get our own house in order first.’
– Bill Durodie, Media, War & Conflict, Vol. 1, No. 1, April 2008

‘Philip Hammond’s new book is an invaluable guide….It delivers a thoughtful account of Western involvement in ex-Yugoslavia (mid to late nineties), Somalia (1993), and both Gulf Wars. The author always seems to be on the brink of blurting out “what were they thinking?”, but he restrains himself and provides cool, calm analysis instead.’
7 Days (Dubai), 7 January 2008

‘The strengths of Hammond’s analysis are the richness and detail in the empirical evidence he provides to support his thesis, particularly when discussing the western media’s role in the ‘War on Terror’…. The text is accessibly written and pitched at a level appropriate for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students.’
– Christina Rowley, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, Vol. 37, No. 1, August 2008

‘[Media, War and Postmodernity] provides brilliant depictions of interventions as media events, their societal embeddedness and (non-)consequences. Hammond’s treatment of Baudrillard, the intervention in Somalia as the epitome of the change in the meaning of interventions and the growing cynicism towards mass media accounts of such wars are all particularly worth reading.’
– Alexander Brand, Political Studies Review, Vol. 7, No. 1, January 2009

About Philip Hammond

Professor of media & communications at London South Bank University

View all posts by Philip Hammond →